Tag Archives: Motivation

“My God, I’ve arrived. I’m there”, why your life is not a journey

Two years I began this post, each time getting lost in the power of the words and beautiful imagery – “Alan Watts & David Lindberg – Why Your Life Is Not A Journey.”  

No words yield justice to the perspective garners from the video. The difference, when I take time to listen and open my heart to hear. Far beyond the cliche, “I hope you dance”, “Life is a Journey”, “Success”, “Heaven After Your Dead”. 

“If we thought of life by analogy with a journey, with a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at that end, and the thing was to get to that thing at that end. Success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead. But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing, and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played. “

 

Scenes from Tree of Life

Music: 

Sleeping at Last Song, Saturn

Sleeping at Last Song, Uranus

A few you YouTube comments that resonated with my essence. 

Youtube Quote 1

Youtube Quote 2

Youtube Quote 3

The beautiful words of Sleeping at Last Song.

Youtube Quote 4


The existence, the physical universe is basically playful there is no necessity for it whatsoever.

it isn’t going anywhere, that is to say, it doesn’t, have some destination that it ought to arrive at. But it’s best understood by analogy with music. Because music, as an art form is essentially playful. We say you play the piano, you don’t work the piano. Why? Music differs from, say travel. When you travel, you are trying to get somewhere.

In music, though, one doesn’t make the end of the composition the point of the composition. If that was so, the best conductors would be those who played fastest, and there would be composers who wrote only finales. People would go to concert to hear just one crashing cord. Cause that’s the end. Say when dancing, you don’t aim at a particular spot in the room, that’s where you should arrive. The whole point of the dancing is the dance.

Now but we don’t see that as something brought by our education into our everyday conduct. We’ve got a system of schooling that which a completely different. It’s all graded and what we do is put the child in the corridor of this grade system with a kind of “come on, kitty, kitty.” And you go to kindergarten, and that’s a great thing because when you finish that you get into first grade, and then come on first grade, leads to second grade and so on and then you get out of grade school you’ve got high school, And it’s revving up, this thing is coming. Then you’re going to college, by joe, by then you get into graduate school. And when you’re through with graduate school you go out to join the world.

Then you get into some racket, where you’re selling insurance. And they’ve got that quota to make, and you’ve got to make that. And all the time the “thing” is coming, it’s coming, it’s coming, that great “thing,” the success you’re working for. then when you wake up one day when you’re about 40 years old, you say my god I’ve arrived , I’m there. And you don’t feel very different from what you always felt. Look at the people who live to retire, who put those savings away, and when they are 65, they don’t have energy left, they are more or less impotent, and uh, they go and rot in an old people senior citizen community.

Because we simply cheated ourselves the whole way down the line. We thought of life by an analogy with a journey, with a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end the thing was to get to that end, success, or whatever it is, or maybe heaven after you’re dead.

But, we miss the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.

365 Gathered Truths

“True, that’s some good food for thought,” a fascinating phrase when I think about food to give me thought. Of course, it has a meaning of something too stimulating you to have a perspective of something or to think through something.

Over the past two months, I have sought out ways to give my soul something to ponder, work through, understand perspective, determine what, if any is a takeaway which I can learn from. A means to drive stimulation in my brain, evoke a feeling in my heart (both positive and negative) and a self-journey to determine the existence of a connection to my soul. This is one of several ways I continue to challenge my level of vulnerability with myself and when before others.

This week I picked up 365 Gathered Truths from one of my favorite stores, Sugarboo & Co-Dealer of Whimsy. A collection of 365 thought-provoking cards from an array of individuals, groups, and spiritual being.

 

Truth defined as; a fact or belief that is accepted as true… the quality or state of being true.

About the definition, “belief that is accepted as true.” Accepted as truth by who? The individuals surrounding me have similar beliefs, but many different which makes us the variety of people to seek out conversation to expand our mind. Though in the definition, accepting of truth, anyone which I cross paths with could hold a belief so as truth, as outlandish it may be. To the extent of such a substantial feeling to be a conviction.

Impossible for each quote to be true for merely being printed on the hand-cut paper. My intention today, Truth.

  • What if I gathered my personal truths?
  • What if I was so honest with myself that the vulnerability could leave me hurt?
  • What if the words I write on a paper if shared, would change the perception the world has on me?
  • Would I roam the world in fear of more judgment?
  • Would I be too concerned with judgment, to be honest with myself?
  • What if I accepted something as being true, or a state of being true, which I learn to be a fallacy?

Giving thought to the new context in my Bullet Journal, opening my heart to myself. Only to garner more clarity to what my existence is, opportunities afforded to make a difference in life. I continue to walk the earth today on my relentless journey to define The Human Element.

Clarity?

Returning to Yoga last month has improved my physical but even more, my spiritual health. Each journey was concluding with food for thought leaving my mind racing. Yesterday, Tricia shared the intention, “Clarity.”

Clarity defined as; the quality of being clear, in particular. the quality of coherence and intelligibility. The quality of being easy to see or hear; sharpness of image or sound.

With each movement, I continued to remind and reinforce, Clarity. The class ended, but the journey concluded in a night of restlessness. In the still of the night, I awoke around 1:45 with the word clarity emboldened in my mind. Tossing and turning, telling myself to try to get some sleep. The word continued to be present, closing my eyes, seeing it spelled before me. I saw a child bouncing a blue rubber ball in the distance, with each toss closer to me, the imagery became clear. I began to whisper the word, Clarity, in pursuit of understanding why this one word was reverberating. I could feel myself exploring the deepest parts of my mind. Unable to dismiss the word, a focus, why can I not stop thinking of clarity?

Clarity:

Acknowledging, and ownership for improving additional aspects of my life. A new sunrise, own the journey.

Acceptance, thinking through recent engagement from others, more often, asking favors. A relationship can sunset, it does not mean the end, it was good but not intended to last.

Apology, those in my life that I have lost and those fortunate to still be a light in my life. Extending empathy to those I have hurt, those who are in circumstances of pain beyond their control. People who are unable to step into moments of light, energy; limited by restraint, emotional and physical.

Humility, reflecting on what I consider critical in my Bucket of Importance. Charging through some of the most challenging times with an enormous worry for those impacted by my outcome. A time to sigh.

My takeaway from Tricia; When you have CLARITY of intention, the universe conspires with you to make it happen.

Despite very little sleep, the compelling self-exploration of self-awareness outweighed the much needed; I will walk the earth today on my relentless journey to define The Human Element.

An Apology to the Sun, God Moments, Day In The Life

The long haul flight boredom helped me discover the sitcom Jane the Virgin. For those who have not watched the series, the name may perplex you. The show about a mistake impregnating has light humor and enjoyable moments when Jane’s imagination takes over.

A snippet of a short sponsored by Wells Fargo aired on TV which I curiously went online to see the complete version. Wells Fargo? This is an ad campaign with Wells Fargo sewn throughout but, I was wrong.

For those on my Facebook, I have highlighted my heightened focus on my core, body, mind and heart. This has included dramatic changes in diet, exercise, removal of stressors and meditation.

The short captures A Day In The Life of the actor, Justin Baldoni who plays Rafael Solano. I watched the short, clicked replay, again, texted over to Nick. Four minutes and four seconds encapsulated the level of importance of the commitment to myself, actions over words, disconnect to connect, kind to others and we all can learn a little something from the sun.

Watch the short now available on youtube.


(The Narration)

Time, What is it? Who invented it?

There are Somethings in this world that you will never find the answer to, things you have to be okay with not knowing. But it’s those unknowable things that makes life so rich, so fulfilling, so scary. Life can be scary, and dark. but What is darkness except for the absence of light.

Good, the world is filled with it, love, the world is made with it.

Just look at the sun, the sun rises each day with one purpose, to simply give, give, everything beautiful comes from that word if we choose it. What if the sun chose to be too tired to wake up. What if it said, no it’s too much trouble, I think i’ll go back to sleep.

Sometimes I wonder if the sun could talk to us, what would it say. I think it would say, Love me so I can love thee. If I had the chance to talk back to the sun, I would say this, Dear sun, I am sorry for falling short, for not lighting up the world each and everyday like I know I was meant to. But from what know about the sun, it doesn’t need to know I am sorry it just needs to see it. And if the only thing it needs from me is love, then I have to show it not through my words, but through my actions.

So when you think you are too tired to light up the world, when you think darkness has surrounded you, when you are growing so much it hurts, just stop, breath and remember the sun and it’s selflessness, because my dear sweet Maya. Where there is love nothing is too much trouble, and there is always time.


I began this post this morning as the sun began to rise, the light on the mantle fragmented through the blinds. The timing could only have been a calling to what was already on my mind. I retreated to the balcony to enjoy the warmth of the sun after the many cold days of winter. Jasmine was elated to spend the morning being the beagle sun dial.

IMG_6389

The sun, what about the sun? In all of its glory brings us life everyday. The day has baffled me, full of reminders of the sun, glancing through IG seeing photos of friends enjoying a breathtaking sunrise, sunset on a bay and the vibrant sun from 30,000 feet up. The warmth of the sun on our skin, the glimmer of sun through the woods, reflection in a stream and sometimes blinding in the morning. Those moments where I am speechless, I call them God Moments.

17186_10155763761880195_7627467270842594370_n

Memories are full of light,  so many with light from the sun above. The cloudiest days have a silver lining from the magnificence of the sun. The sun allows the moon to illuminate the darkest of nights. Tomorrow I will enjoy the sunrise over the lake at Concourse while working out. I will give thought to the glory of the sun, it’s magic, its warmth, how it symbolizes new beginnings when it rises and closing of chapters as it sets each and every day. The days are getting longer, allowing all of us an opportunity to build moments in the beauty of the world around us.

DTW Airport - Sun

Where there is love nothing is too much trouble, and there is always time.

Have a wonderful week, Be humble, be grateful, be true to you,

Douglas

The perfect piece of art, a song, and a napkin #MondayMotivation #Music #theHumanElement

Over the weekend Nick and I stumbled upon Sugarboo & Co at Town Brookhaven. I entered the store and froze, gazing at a piece of art while a song (Spotify: Heartbeats; Jose Gonzalez ) hit my heart giving me a sense of calm. A minute… or two passed, unaware of the price I grabbed the art and gave it to the employee to purchase it. This store has incredible things, all unique, many intricate things that you cannot find anywhere else.

This new addition to the house needed to be in the heart of the home. In a location where the simplistic words would remind me often. Typing this on the couch, Jasmine asleep by the fire, classical music playing and the shelves illuminating the fleet.

Such similarities the words have to my guiding principle that I briefly talked bout in Post: Undercover Boss, Clergy and a Californian #HumanElement #TuesdayTakeaway .

Art on Wall

New Art 1

The you, your and your resonated with me, “CHANGE YOUR WORLD” . Exploring every inch of the store, afraid to miss a thing, I randomly pick out a folded linen to read.

Napkin

My sister passed along many pearls of wisdom while we traveled on vacation in Europe. On our flight home from Paris we both became a bit emotional thinking of Parker’s passing at the very young age of 15. Her wisdom, we have 86,400 seconds in a day to live, live each and every second for all we have now. I thought about, if our heart beats 60 times per minute, our heart beats 86,400 a day, that’s 86,400 opportunities to be thankful we are alive and make a difference.  It’s not about money, possessions, it’s about being kind to one another and believing in the Human Element. Post: A journey to define the Human Element (THE)

The Song playing in the store – Heartbeats, Jose Gonzalez.

 

Have a wonderful week, Be humble, be grateful, be true to you.

Douglas

Undercover Boss, Clergy and a Californian #HumanElement #TuesdayTakeaway

My adventure to Europe with my sister is coming to an end, posting this from Delta 170, CDG-MSP. Heidi with Delta has been top notch, a great trip back to the US. Trump, that’s the Apprentice… am I the Undercover Boss… say what? Over the past week I had three interactions which made me reflect on my journey in life and give thought to pivotal moments that changed me. A quick search through my site, I found a post from July 2, 2011, Helping out a Stranger in the Armed Forces, Reflecting Back on my Day where I first openly shared my goal in life in quote I discovered in 2009.

Each day when I awake I know I have one more day to make a difference in someone’s life.

James Mann
Author

Time to circle back to this trip. My trip began with an overnight stay at the Holiday Inn Express SF Airport North. In the morning I met the breakfast attendant, an elderly woman named Jackie. In lieu of dashing to the airport to wait for my sister’s arrival I wanted to get to know Jackie.

In sitting down, I thanked Jackie by name which she was perplexed, “you are the second person to do that today”. Jackie joined the hotel 12 years ago under a different brand but is a fan of the brand, and an ambassador. Jackie works two mornings shifts a week to allow her lunch money the other days . The more we talked, the more she was intrigued, who was this stranger listening to her. What appreciation I had for Jackie’s walk of life when she posed an interesting question.

“Have you heard of Undercover Boss, are you from that?”  I frequently watch the show, more enlightening at it’s series start, I was stumped by the question. “You used my name, asked me about working here, not many people care that much, I am thinking to myself, you must be Undercover Boss”. A chuckle in my response, I confirmed I was not connected to the show, but was also an employee of IHG. I shared how much I appreciated her, a genuine thank you, and she wished me a wonderful day.

Now that we are leaving reality TV behind us, let’s join the clergy?  Barbara was the flight leader on our Delta flight to Atlanta from San Francisco. In passing through the galley, Barbara asked if I was a member of the clergy. Clergy? Perplexed, had alcohol, traveling with my sister, unsure why she would think that. We talked for a bit, she explained she thought I was potentially in the church because I expressed a genuine interest in her, appreciated her, used her name and engaged with her directly. In passing, my sister explained that I was in the hospitality industry which for Barbara, that explained it.

Now that we have walked away from Undercover Boss, opted to not pursue the clergy, let’s revisit California. A young french mother of two young kids was boarding the Eurostar to Paris. The steps were high, the bags were big, and her hands were full. I retrieved her bags from the platform and stowed them away. I brought her other items to her seat. as full, another rider of 3 had luggage, two young kids, and in need of settling. I thought nothing the more of it, mid travel she pardoned to interrupt us with a question, “Are you from California?”

This being my third moment of inspiration in just the first 3 days, she explained, “I was in California last year, the people were so nice, you were so helpful, you must be from California. People in Europe don’t do that for others”. My sister and I briefly talked about chivalry and the world we are in. While being originally from California I don’t believe that’s the connection.

It all comes back to – The Human Element. Read: A Journey to define The Human Element (THE) . Jackie, Barbara or the young french mother cost me nothing and made me richer in life.

Each day YOU have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of other, if you miss that moment, it may not come around again. Pay it forward, use peoples name and never assume peoples walks of life, never discount them and appreciate everyone you come in contact with.

If not me, then who, if not now, when? #MondayMotivation #MakeItHappen

I experienced unexpected challenges during my host provider change the last two weeks. The kinks worked out, the site now loads in 1/3rd the time. Now back to the good stuff…

Happy Monday! 

Can you believe that we are in June already? The many times I discounted my father’s wisdom,  time flies quickly as we get older… He was right.

For several months I sought out paths for a “creative” avenue, I pondered art classes to take, things to study but nothing resonated to my core. Thinking back to when I began my journey to define the Human Element on April 23rd, Did you…

Take a break?  – A 2 Minute Journey Along Moon River #mo·ti·va·tion #Monday #spotify

Celebrate life? – Can’t Sleep? Maybe you are NOT living #TuesdayTakeaway

Find a passage, quote or mantra you can relate to? – How One Restless Night Changed My Life #MondayMotivation #theHumanElement

Take a night to disconnect to connect? – The Detox I start tomorrow! I need your help! #TuesdayTakeaway

Thank someone for a laugh? – Effie, Brace yourself, Thank You Mrs. Doubtfire… #TuesdayTakeaway 

Only you can answer yes or no to the above but I hope that you had at least one moment where my random words provoked some reflection.

Douglas on his first day of preschool with his younger brother Sean
Douglas on his first day of preschool with his younger brother Sean

My younger brother Sean and I had an interesting chat the other day. In talking about his potential move to Atlanta, he shared that he changed his perspective on life. Now asking himself, “if not me, then who?”. In breaking that one short phrase apart I felt it spoke to me but one aspect was grossly missing,  time element. “If not me, then who, if not now, when?”

I knew early changing the focus of my online presence would present opportunity for me to share more intimate thoughts, avoid sharing altogether or post what I thought people would want to hear. The big benefit of a blog with a few 100 hits a post is that you accept that very few will read what you write, don’t worry how big the audience is, but know the few that do read feel a connection.

During the week I debate if the energy to type a post is worth the outcome, or on a rare occasion give in to a notion that no one will read this so who cares? I asked myself, if not me, then who, and if not now, when?

Challenge: Reflect on the past two weeks,  a time where you wish you would have taken that jump, big or small? Why in that moment did you say not me, or not now?

Effie, Brace yourself, Thank You Mrs. Doubtfire… #TuesdayTakeaway

Today’s Tuesday Takeaway, Mrs. Doubtfire

In 1993, Thanksgiving ushered in a new character named Mrs. Doubtfire who continues to bring laughter some 21 years later.  I’d like to share with you one of my favorite scenes of the movie, the interviews. Do you have a favorite character?

My favorite inquiry is a toss-up between I am Job and don’t make me get the hose.

While traveling over the weekend I debated whether a Mrs. Doubtfire clip from the movie would be better suited for a #FridayFeelGood or a #TuesdayTakeaway.  Welcome Mrs. Doubtfire to the Tuesday Takeaway list.

A pop up video debuted several years ago of Mrs. Doubtfire highlighting many hidden facts about the movie. One being, Robin Williams danced to a different song in the infamous “Dude, Looks Like a Lady” scene. Ad hoc lines from Robin riddle the movie highlighting the incredible talent he had as an actor. A similar act Robin put on each day of his off-screen life until the unfortunate end.

I can relate to Robin Williams in that I have many days where I seek out laughter of others to help calm my brain from the overwhelming chaos of thoughts. These moments of humor allow me a mental break to work towards solutions to challenges before me, delivering clarity and perspective. Maintaining high energy can be exhausting, when I am quiet people most often assume something isn’t right, simply my batteries are charging.

Robin Williams was a talented and brilliant man that I firmly believe was like no other. Often we discount others without understanding them, one might think Robin was crazy, in the end he was human, deflecting reality with humor longing for a connection.

Robin Williams Quote
“I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone, it’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel all alone.”

 

Having lost my mother to suicide in 1993 I can share the feeling of devastation when someone departs this world so quickly.

Some of the most energetic people have tough times but worry more about questions of concern from others or an innate feeling to make others happy. This facade depletes what little energy the person has making the days tougher.

Challenge: When someone makes you laugh today, say Thank You. These two words of appreciation can make all the difference when a person is masking a tough day through humor.

The Detox I start tomorrow! I need your help! #TuesdayTakeaway

Good Morning!

Today’s Tuesday Takeaway, time for a Detox.

Phew, are we busy, busy, busy, busy people? First things first on the docket today, rollover to check my phone, tweet ( @astriker79 ), update my Facebook status, comment on my friend’s status, Facebook Messenger, post to Instagram, Home email, work email, junk email, send texts…. (lather, rinse, repeat)

I can’t fathom a world without social media, how would I talk to people? I would miss out on that post about the SNL skit and I just might offend someone by not replying quick enough. What about if the message shows read, but no reply, I am insensitive and rude!

All joking aside, I am just as guilty of maintaining a high level of online social interaction. When I think of oxymoron, is being online and social possible? I went through an unpleasant break up in 2013 while overseas. I began to have a sinking feeling in my stomach, I had a two-week vacation planned after the two month work secondment concluded in London.  How could I possibly enjoy traveling alone for two weeks, Budapest, Vienna, Munich, Berchtesgaden, Salzburg, Zürich, London then home.  Should I just fly back home to Atlanta early? I decided to turn off my Facebook profile allowing me time to focus on finding myself.

Two months later returned to Facebook at the start of my vacation to allow my family to see I was safe and share part of my adventure. What I found, it was the best vacation of my life. I explored at my pace, fought uncomfortable situations like meals alone in a big restaurant, but was able to enjoy places that I never imagined seeing.

What made my solo trip incredible was taking those two months away from our overly connected world to connect my brain with my heart. I was stronger when I returned and conquered my greatest fear, being alone.

Challenge: Dedicate one entire evening in the next seven days to step away from social media, your mobile device and computer. Find time to find you. If your evenings involve your partner, spouse, family have them partake. Your messages, Facebook, Twitter will still be there after.

The DND function on the iPhone is a blessing.


Watch the video below, can you spot a moment where you were that person? If your answer is no, you are not being honest with yourself.  #DisconnectToConnect #DigitalDetox

 

 

How One Restless Night Changed My Life #theHumanElement

Mantra: man-tra (noun) – (Originally in Hinduism and Buddhism) A word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation.

  • A Vedic hymn
  • a statement or slogan repeated frequently

I often thought the phrase Happy Monday was an oxymoron. For those in the corporate world, it’s the start of the work week and conclusion of the short two day break. The past thirty days has forever changed my perspective on life which will continue to ignite my pursuit in the better of humanity. 

People have asked what changed? Did I attend a course on finding myself or attend a religious institution? Neither,  but I experienced firsthand one of the most selfless demonstration of compassion from complete strangers that united from around the globe for Postcards For Parker, Relay for Life Challenge . In just 19 days, Parker Eckburg became a household name for 100’s, receiving 3,000+ Postcards and $14,500 raised in donation to Relay for Life. I never imagined one random thought to make a big difference. I’d like to shed some light on the night that changed my life.

Experiencing a restless night, I glanced through twitter stumbling across a tweet by Life Coach Jordan Bach. The post prompted me to spend hours more awake exploring different aspects of life. The Parker phenomena idea came to fruition the next day. I also have recently expanded outside my comfort zone by partaking in therapy. I view that time solely dedicated to challenging myself and at times facing uncomfortable realizations.  From a career aspect I sought out a mentor who asked me the overly complicated simple question, what will be your brand in 5 years. All of these combined illuminated my mind, I felt like a single tree standing strong amidst a starry night.

Tree at Night

Last Sunday I felt a deep personal connection to a quote by the Dalai Lama XIV. I felt every word resonate to my guiding principle, to use each day to make a difference in at least one person’s life. I was fortunate to shake the hand of the Dalai Lama while working task force at a hotel in 2004.

The next morning (last Monday), I began a ritual of reading the quote aloud as the start of a new daily morning motivation. I have no plans of memorizing the words, discussing with others, or speaking it aloud with others present. Somedays I speak the words twice to strike my core hard to ensure I remain mindful of my ability to impact the world around me.

Dalai Lama“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

~ Dalai Lama XIV

Challenge: When you awake you most likely find yourself thinking of the tasks at hand, schedule before you, dog to feed, kids to tend to. In the next week, find a word, a passage a quote that resonates with you. allow it to be your morning mantra.

(Photo: April 09, 2005, Mauna Kea Summit, Big Island)