Check Back In…


image001Many people living today aren’t quite living anymore. They’re sort of half in and half out. You can see it in their eyes, the revelation of their souls. Something has happened to damage their heart, not fatally, but enough to dim their glow and diminish their passion for being. They only half participate with life and have long since settled for the mundane over the excitement of fulfillment and satisfaction. Sadly, they have checked out of life and need badly to check back in.

Assuming you aren’t so far gone as to conclude that “life’s a bitch and then you die,” what the hell has happened to people to reduce their fiery flame into a flicker? What catastrophic event or events took place to so harden and numb people’s hearts to the point of accepting mere existence? People are lost and without hope in a world created for their greatest fulfillment and blessing. No-one began their life this way, so something must have become involved along the way that worked to steal life and to reduce life and to suffocate life and worst of all to convince people that it was normal. What happened?

Every living person has a heart beating inside forcing life-giving blood into every part of the body. Likewise, every person living has a figurative heart, deep inside their mind, from which their life proceeds. As such, the heart of your mind, like your physical heart must be cared for properly if you are going to survive. But, unlike the physical heart, the heart of your mind was intended for much, much more than mere survival. Your heart was made to experience love and joy and wonder. Your heart was planned to be the fountain from which your life flowed forth. All that you could ever hope to be and to experience would begin in your heart, eventually manifesting outwardly into your life. Your heart by design is very tender and sensitive to feeling (like it’s Creator) with the capacity to respond to even the slightest sensation and with that react immediately to any attacks or assaults on itself with great displeasure and a determination to get back to its highest, purest most peaceful self. Thus God commanded man to guard his heart above everything that could be guarded in his life. When you find yourself but only half living, half experiencing, filling your days with pointless activities and routines to pass the time, it is safe to say that you have somewhere failed to guard your heart, a practice of which all men are guilty, with the degree of misery corresponding directly, thought for thought with the associated failure to guard your heart.

Living life on earth with an evil despot ruling the kingdoms of the world, not in accordance with God’s will, but rather as a result of guile and treachery, things are going to happen to you that will directly assault your heart. Parents, in their own conundrums, will fail you and speak damage into your being. Friends and experiences and relationships and any or all interactions will take shots at that vital part of you and work to steal away your life force and reduce your life to a glass of wine, a television and a couch! And sadly today more than ever before in history, there’s an electronic world artfully attached to your soul seducing you with a thousand messages assailing who you are by comparison and who you ought to be. Add to that life’s catastrophes that shake your very core or violence or the abject pain of broken hearts (aptly named) and broken dreams. The result of which is an entire mass of people with dimness in their eyes with little to no energy left to fight back and to recover. Then enters the greatest cruelty of all named religion bent on, by guilt, unworthiness and shame, wiping out any remaining hope for the future replacing it with fear of a punishment later on. Indeed it is a sad state of affairs of which only God can repair.

On the way back to your true heart, I think you will find compensations you have added to your life such as numbing elements or busy activities or anything that seeks to take your mind and thoughts away from the moment you are in. Step one is to be in the moment and notice what you are thinking or what pain you are avoiding or maybe just how uncomfortable it is to risk being with your own thoughts undistracted for a time. In order to change what is in your heart, if you don’t like what you are experiencing or how you feel, you have to start changing your thoughts. You have to be present to recognize what you are thinking and then start challenging those thoughts. Just like working to lose the weight that affects your physical heart takes time, ridding yourself of wrong thoughts and wrong beliefs takes time and consistent, persistent effort.

Naturally, if you are going to recover from the “life sucks” syndrome, you are going to have to do some things you haven’t been doing. Some of which might include getting out of your shell and going back out there where the people and your life are and stop incubating in your unhappiness. (Broken hearts incubate inward while healthy hearts extend outward…) Don’t even think you have any hope at deliverance and escape if you aren’t willing to be supremely humble. You got got man! You got taken woman! You and your “I already know” thinking aren’t going to help you here. (This is why you need God’s help to recover!) You have to honestly humble yourself and be just as willing to unlearn as you have been to learn. You have to start questioning the “wheel” of things and dismiss the notion of acceptance for that which is less than the best. It is not just how life is and it’s certainly not God’s will for your life!

Check back in folks! I know why you checked out (been there and done that) but I also know it isn’t the best use of your one go round around the sun. You can get that glimmer back in your eyes. You can put your heart back into life fully rather than half guarded and calloused in anticipation of further pain. You can once again risk by giving love and being kind to people and sharing your tender heart. Waiting for you on the other side of your damaged and broken heart is life in all of its manifestations and variations, exciting, fulfilling and joyful just as God designed it to be…

Check back in, it’s so, so worth it.

Just some good thoughts…

 

Are You Getting Fat?


5094d6cced1e1fc4a99337a616fcbff0Remember when you were 18 and ate everything that passed your way and never gained an ounce? Yeah, me too, but those days are long gone. Like you maybe, I recognize that the struggle is real. So I started thinking, besides the cruelty of a snail’s pace metabolism, what else is different? In complete honesty I have to admit, I’m doing some things that contribute to the problem. I sit at a desk all day long (almost). I have the resources to eat whatever I choose to eat and it’s been said that I occasionally overindulge in the wine (smile). When it comes to eating and drinking and other enjoyable activities, my natural tendency is to let loose as I suspect many of you do as well. It’s so easy to just let go and seems so hard to control yourself. But control is where the good stuff lives and this blog has nothing to do with your physical body!

Your mind is equally capable of getting fat. And much like your body, the fat doesn’t show up from too many nutrients, but rather from too much junk. It comes from complacency and inactivity. It shows up in the form of uncontrolled thoughts and unchallenged ideas. It comes from letting go and just accepting whatever comes along. This may surprise you but your mind can get lazy. It was never designed to be that way. It was intended to be alive and vital, dynamic and energetic. It was pre-loaded to have a sincere love of learning; learning that never stops throughout a lifetime.

The popular notion of living an intentional life is the antidote to a chubby mind. Intentional means on purpose. An on purpose life is a life lived by decision rather than reaction. The world is entirely circumstance controlled. People decide they’re having a good day by a few positive events and a bad day is born from a couple of negative ones. A problem at work morphs into a potential lost job and a snow prediction for the morning commute spells disaster. Sunny days equal happiness and gloomy Mondays are the worst thing ever. A pain in your side signals cancer even though you forgot you moved furniture yesterday. This is no great surprise because we have been trained to think that way. Negativity is all around us. The news is negative. Facebook is negative. The people you interact with are negative. And sadly, negativity is considered the norm. If you are positive you are called naive. You just don’t get it. But, I submit that no matter how much negativity you experience, it’s not the way of truth. It’s a grand deception on a monumental scale. It gets to you when you give in to it, like a bacon double cheeseburger at midnight. Intentional living chooses to “just say no” to negativity.

How many people do you know who have lost that spark in their eye? How long has it been since you felt alive and that life was worth living? I’m not talking about choosing life over death, I’m talking about overflowing and abundant life. Yet, we acquiesce and think that’s just how life is… We traded in our value for something cheap. We’ve been riding the bike with the crooked handle bars for so long that we think they’re straight. We fail to see that we adjusted to the wrong instead of fighting for the right. Even more spurious is the lack of thought employed in our choices, most evident during an election season. The media propaganda makes our choices and social media directs our minds. We believe the last thing we read and accept as true whatever someone shouts the loudest. You know why? Because our minds have fallen into decay from fast food logic and pre-processed understanding. We don’t think anymore because we got fat!

So, how can you shed the pounds from your organ of mental perception? The simple answer is to learn again to think. The more arduous answer is to practice living in the moment and controlling yourself. Recognize what is going on in your head. What emotions are you experiencing? Which emotions do you no longer acknowledge? Have you worked around that broken door handle for so long that you fail to see it is broken? What aint right? Where have you settled for less than you deserve? Which illness or sickness are you living with because a doctor said you have to when God has no limitation on what He can heal? What words have you stopped voicing in your relationship that you used to speak without hesitation? What? This is your one life, my friends, and you owe yourself the custom package!

Sometimes you fail to see what you need to see because you are living in the darkness. Turn on the light. Find out what God (who actually invented life) says. Unearth that dust-covered Bible and discover something you can depend on. If you don’t know what to read, ask God for some help. That person will show up faster than a Jimmy John’s sandwich! Get your mind back. Get your vitality back. Get your life back!

Being fat only lasts as long as you let it last. And again, I aint talking about your body. Embrace your chubbiness and love yourself, but most of all take care of your heart, for from it proceeds all the issues of your life! (hcG for the soul!)

Just some good thoughts…

 

 

The Madness of the Mediocre Life…


mediocremajorityLet me start by acknowledging that every person is completely unique in their personal desires and aspirations. What success is for me isn’t success for you. That being said, there’s a huge difference between success in life and the madness of mediocrity.

No-one ever grew up dreaming of being mediocre. Nobody foresaw a life of quiet desperation, feeling stunted, stymied and held back? You sure didn’t start out that way, did you? You began, as we all began, with stars in your eyes and grand thoughts of who you could be.  Then you grew up. The world didn’t change, you did.  You settled. You negotiated for average. You exchanged your A level life for a C level existence. You did it because it was safe. It wasn’t everything you ever wanted but it was some of the things you wanted. When it comes to your one and only run through, and because you have the exact same right to pursue your happiness as every other person, you can still choose the best! You can go for the Olympic gold instead of rejoicing in that you made the team!

Now, don’t get it twisted. I’m not claiming some type of superiority over you. I’ve spent my fair share of time in the misty flats… (Well, it’s not really fair, but that’s how clichés work.) Yet, I have a great advantage that I’m ever privileged to enjoy. Someone lovingly taught me about God a long time ago and I’ve never stopped learning about Him to this day. You see, this whole notion of living an abundant life came from Him. This aint self-help rama-lama, this is real life. God’s plan for you isn’t a litany of rules or pervasive condemnation from failure to follow them. The master plan goes back to the original plan – which is you (men) and some cute gal or you (women) and some hot guy living in paradise. You ever been to Hawaii? Well, that aint Eden! People started out in Paradise, spent many years in the misty flats (see I’m not alone) and then God made available the paradise experience anew. The paradise experience is life in all of its varied and splendid manifestations. It’s life without fear. It’s life with answered prayers. It’s life where Someone a lot smarter than you knows how to get you to live out your full potential. Nothing about God is ever mediocre. Religion is damn mediocre because it’s focused on not doing (living) more than doing!

Lest you conclude that life’s not fair, think about how people typically function. I’ve managed people for many years and am always amazed by an interesting phenomenon. It’s only a matter of time before the workers reduce their job down to the most minimal level possible to still get paid and not get fired. Except of course that one guy. This blog isn’t to him because his life isn’t going to be mediocre. But for the majority, that’s how it seems to go. Now you know, if you are honest, that you have a little something inside of you that says there is so much more. It whispers in your relationships. It beckons you at work. Its inspiration flashes across your mind oh so briefly with glimpses of how your life could be. It’s not only possible, it’s what your life is supposed to be.

How you get there is a whole different story. You don’t get there until you get there. You won’t arrive until you arrive. It’s not a ship coming in, it’s the ship you’re already steering. The cause must precede the effect. You have to first recognize that it is even possible, then (the hardest part), you have to convince your old obstinate; C grade getting; settling for less mind that you both can and will have it. It’s God will already, so you’d be sorta crazy not to make it your will!

Now here is the greatest irony of all ironies. It takes the exact same amount of believing to achieve greatly as it takes to achieve the mediocre. Not the same amount of work, but the same amount of believing expectation. If you expect more, you will do more. You’re not so much lazy as you are misguided. How many people do you know slaving away for some company accepting whatever they get and convincing themselves they’re still blessed? Abundance means abundance and mediocre means mediocre. I remember someone once telling me that I didn’t need a fancy car, just something that ran and got me to work. Now you can sell yourself that story for a while, but in the end you know you want more for yourself. And don’t you go telling me I’m greedy. Greedy people never consider that notion. The ones that think it are usually the ones not getting their needs met; the ones settling for the mediocre life.

There’s no need for me to tell you that life isn’t all about money and possessions. Life is about fulfillment and satisfaction and joy. Are you fulfilled, satisfied and joyful? Then you do the math and figure that one out. The abundant life God promises is available to you if you really want it. But, make no mistake, you’re going to need God’s help to find it. Oh it’s right in front of you, but you won’t see it without some help from the (good) spiritual side. Trust me on that one.

Look brothers!  Listen sisters! This thing is damn short, this run through on earth. Your time, my time is finite (for now). You already know what you want; what you dream of; what turns you on. So learn about our God and get it; do it; experience it. Your only limitation is what you can persuade your mind to believe.

Your success is not my success and my success is not your success. But, success is success and surely that beats the hell out of the madness of the mediocre life!

Just some good thoughts…