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.

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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.

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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.

The frail Dove takes flight and how we can live to Infinity #pause #4Gretchen #TuesdayTakeaway

What the hell do I write about? I wish I could yell at the top of my lungs, give out hugs, call my family, say I love you to everyone.  My heart has ached all day,how I feel tonight in my heart. On May 15th, I wrote about Jane Mitchell and her daughter Gretchen – Blog Post : An unsung hero, daughter battling cancer, will you dance?

At 12:26 am Gretchen’s soul took flight to the heavens above, leaving behind her husband, two baby girls, and her mother Jane. From the time it took me to write that sentence, I have stared at my laptop, from 46% to 5% still can’t articulate.

I recall our many phone calls, the most gripping before today was when Jane texted me that Gretchen was ill again, I had to pull over as I became numb while driving home, staring aimlessly at my surroundings. Thinking of that moment still brings me to tears as I type this.  I began to type, Jane was… but Jane IS strong, optimistic, loving, and persistent. Jane held tight until the end that Gretchen would be okay even as optimism began to fade, I can still hear her southern charm accent talking about her baby’s girls.

The news today brought back heart tendering moments in my life of the crushing feeling that loss brings. My mom took flight in 1993 when I was 13, I have tried to overcome my fear of abandonment and rejection but it’s a battle each day. My close friends understand how I look forward to things, the opportunities to build memories and when they end I solemnly reflect, even on the happiest of occasions, a vacation, Jet Drag, or company flying back home to Chicago. Everything ends, but it’s the journey we take that makes all the difference.

My Tuesday Takeaway, our time on earth is finite yet everyday we must take advantage of every opportunity to make a positive lasting imprint on the world around us. For then our lives become infinite.

While Gretchen is no longer with us this evening,  she soars above us free of pain and suffering. Part of Jane died today, I love you Jane, you are in my prayers, text from May.

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Celine Dion wrote a song called Fly about the loss of her niece Karine from Cystic Fibrosis. I saw her perform this haunting song live, it especially holds true for a parent who lost their child all too soon. Takes about 30 seconds for the story and her singing in this 1997 video.

“Fly”

Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven’s love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly againFly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this mem’ry bittersweet
Until we meetFly, fly do not fear
Don’t waste a breath, don’t shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don’t wait for me
Above the universe you’ll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won’t forgetFly, fly little wing
Fly where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light

For those with Spotify –


https://open.spotify.com/track/2IlZNGEdntVlKnIgKD436x
 

Need a Puzzle! 1000 Piece Jigsaw, Operation, Jenga, Rubix Cube?

Walking the toy aisle doesn’t resemble my time as a kid, picking out the right puzzle. The electronic gaming ushered a different experience, engaging with others yet more solo.

I have been giving thought to my life over the past month, being quiet in my posts and hopping off social media briefly. What does my life resemble most to me?

1000 Piece Puzzle – Immediately out of the box I am overwhelmed by the number of pieces. ,Similar colors in the photo, unsure where to begin. I can build the frame first or perhaps from the center out. Daunting, question, where to begin?

Operation – Like the scene in the Delta Safety Video, turbulence in life can make this game a tough one. The slightest twitch, the patient dies. This game seemed incredibly stressful, high risk, and often I questioned, why would anyone want to be a surgeon? Perhaps I have things that are out of place that just need to be removed for my life center to return?

Jenga – While the stress of Operation is greater, from the buzzer and light, Jenga is also a nerve racking strategy game. The foundation is strong in the beginning but as the game progresses, I have to take risk determining where to sacrifice strength to continue to build. My life is built on a foundation, will jiggering things differently collapse my foundation or help me climb higher?

Rubix Cube – The ultimate puzzle that consistently made me feel defeated especially when some can solve it within minutes. Though not quite as bad when a former boss gave me a MENSA calendar, talk about deflating my balloon. Can I figure out the Rubix Cube, get the colors aligned?

Walking down the toy aisle, I connect with the Rubix Cube. The design of the cube is set, I need to give greatest thought to how to solve the mismatch. I find this familiar seeking calm to the chaos in life, getting the right colors unified. Solving the cube doesn’t require others, many may have an opinion but it is something only I can do.

In giving thought to my core, I know I have the potential to solve the cube, get my life in order in all aspects but I need to develop a strategy. Not move too much at once, give thought, and continue to adjust. I continue my journey to define the Human Element, solving my Rubix Cube.

Calling it a night, sometimes the greatest hurdles in life can be solved with a good night of sleep.

HURRY! Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Abraham Lincoln? #TuesdayTakeaway

On Saturday, May 16th I was fortunate to tour the FAA tower at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport through the New PDK Airport Association.  The tower has a 360 wrap around deck where you can see the entire airport and downtown. Photos | Exploring the tallest ATC Tower (ATL) in North America #avgeek

Perspective DrawingDo you remember as a kid when you drew a Perspective? At a view of nearly 400 feet above the worlds busiest airport (2014 Passenger Volume),  the wind whispered the word Perspective in my ear. Did that word call out to me because the view before me seemed like it continued on forever? Perhaps

Having travelled 800+ flights, air travel is an intricate experience with hours upon end spend at airports.  An airport is similar to a ride at Disneyland, You rush to wait.

Hear me out on this tangent… a typical day of air travel out of Atlanta –  You rush out of the office to avoid the afternoon traffic while contemplating is MARTA a better option today. You rush up to the platform at the MARTA station, to wait for the next train. You stand by the doors because you are nearing the end of the line at ATL. You rush out the door to beat the long line of people with their luggage awaiting the escalator, inevitably behind one. You rush to the kiosk or pull out your mobile to double-check the TSA Pre-Check stamp. You rush through security screening to not lose belongings or hold up the screening queue. You rush down the escalator to wait for the plane train. You rush up the escalator to the gate to see the plane hasn’t arrived and wait. When the plane arrives, you rush to the restroom when the plane arrives being keen to not miss the boarding zones, to return and wait.  You briskly walk to scan your boarding pass knowing the carry on baggage space saga. You rush into the jetway to wait to board the plane, which in Atlanta is miserable in the summer. You rush to pass down the aisle to put your bag up, to then sit, and wait…Arrive at your destination, unfasten seatbelt upon the chime to then wait to exit the plane.

Knowing first hand the annoyance of the announcements, lines, obnoxious people, screaming children, yet it was all drowned out by the warm calming breeze.  When can you recollect an airport moment you would describe as peaceful?

Gazing down from the tower on the airport below, I felt that I had stepped out of my body and soared like a bird overhead, it gave me a different perspective.

Having you ever been pricked by a thorn of a rose? Abraham Lincoln shared his perspective –

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” – Abraham Lincoln

 

I was stressed last Tuesday and I briefly closed my eyes and recollected the moment atop the ATL ATC tower. The warm breeze that drowned out the loud jet noise and the sunshine that blinded me with warmth. After only a minute, my body was calmer and reset simply by thinking of changing my perspective.

We all could use a little more waiting and a lot less rushing.

Photos | Exploring the tallest ATC Tower (ATL) in North America #avgeek

On Saturday, May 16th I was fortunate to tour the ATC tower at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport through the New PDK Airport Association. The finale after learning about the vast technology was the 360 wrap around deck where you can see the entire airport and downtown. Below are facts on the tower and some photos I captured.


Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest airport, features the third tallest ATC tower in the world and the tallest ATC tower in North America. The new ATC tower measuring 121.31m (398ft) was commissioned in 2006.

The tower provides a clear view of the five parallel runways ranging from 9,000ft to 11,889ft in length, and the entire airfield. The tower was constructed with an investment of $44.2m, and houses an accompanying parking deck and meeting facilities.

The construction was funded by the City of Atlanta ($39.4m), while $4.8m was provided by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry out installation of equipment, power systems, furniture, and workstations. Source: Airport-Technology.com . 

 


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