Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yes you can and be successful at it...

Authors and Artists have a funny way to communicate what it is they do and don’t do and still have enough common sense to realize it’s how they react that feeds the soils surrounding the dreams for other thinkers and doers participating with the process of accepting creative instinct.

The architect of the Artist Way Julia Cameron voluntarily broke out of the norm when convincing the average person that being locked up in a creative closet was no place to locate true love and happiness. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you currently stand from birth to death people fear their untouched happiness because of what others think.

I’ve been to the poetry circles that served as safe zones where everyone in attendance was taken back by the most incredible raw talent. Being a recording studio is no different. I'm constantly being introduced to those that should've made it but fate had a better plan.

Rather than observe an artists works hanging in a gallery, it’s always been my quest to walk with the person pushing the brush, to listen to their journey while understanding what stops the music.

Thirty two years of radio broadcast…sad aren’t the on-air breaks where the talent makes mistakes but lost is the entire process of learning how to fine tune the musical instrument taught to influence city blocks to participate.

Learning gain access to confidence without it seeping over the brim into your heart and head is a willingness based on awareness. All things start with thought. What you think can be your new reality.

Julia Cameron teaches you to put faith in fascination. Start with painting the room. Dear Diaries and daily journals are a cool thing to do in high school but true free wheeling is an act of courage. Free Wheeling is what Mark Twain called a spoken narrative. Mr. Twain had a horrible time being real on paper. He had allowed his storytelling capabilities to consume the very art that turned him into a published author.

It’s not just a writing thing. Southern BBQ is no different. The thought of leaving the old family recipe behind to generate your own design is completely unheard of. How dare I think of changing Great Grandma Wooky Snooky’s Christmas cookie recipe!

Mark Twain bluntly told his stenographer Josephine Hobby to be true to his skill by setting free her personal thoughts about the writing of his autobiography. Because Twain didn’t see himself as a free wheeling writer it was extremely important to him to surround himself with people safe enough to say if his works were dull or not interesting to the point of being boring making readers want to commit suicide.

Blogging has reshaped the world of writing. Editors and professionally trained English majors are going ballistic with the ways and methods of communication shared on today’s modern pages.

Because I’m a poet first…the accent or rhythm of my writing doesn’t match the official rules put into play by third grade teachers. Combine that with Arroe depth of subject and 99.9999 percent of anyone reading this hogwash gets lost two sentences deep into a paragraph. But I refuse to change my style; constantly arguing with editors whose vow is keep the literary world clean of such laziness and yet if I were a true southern gentlemen complete with a genuine Charleston, South Carolina accent that would be acceptable.

Writing should be no different. A passion to write and or create shouldn’t be overshadowed by the way you paint a room.

All too often we race to book stores, art galleries and concert venues to meet the performer but never the artist. I once wrote a book called And So…This is Radio. It will never make it to publication because the companies that do that thing with their handpicked editors can’t figure out who the reader is therefore marketing it would be impossible.

Self publish right? You don’t need a bookstore to milk a cow. Nor do you need a chocolate bar to catch a sugar buzz. The seeds already been planted. Who in the freak is the freak I wanna freak? Radio people don’t need another book about radio and listeners never want to destroy the image of the voice their imagination has played out for them. I still remember the day I saw Casey Kasum on the Hardy Boys and have never forgiven myself for destroying that mental image of disappoint.

Writers, painters, chefs and farmyard animals carry with them a level of mystic that one day needs to be shared with a passerby who softly asks, “What was it like?” Not what went into a particular project but the entire process from the birth of art to the beginning of your dreams reaching a corner of the world rather than another empty page.

I can’t make you famous. I don’t have what it takes to make you a brilliant writer and or radio talent trying to be one of the 3,000 available for the only position open. It’s my goal to teach you how to recognize the difference between who and what you are compared to what everybody else has made you.

The first lesson is to paint a room. Do what Mark Twain couldn’t…free wheel.

And So…This is Radio. I love the title. You’d hate the story.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I can't just say it...

Thanksgiving weekend!

The thought of reminding you to drive the speed limit is wasting your time. You don’t require my fingertips to send out vibrations that repeat the same ole message don’t text while driving. The last thing you need to hear is how dangerous power drinks are and how quickly the body reacts when the magic wears off.

This web page is your happy place. Bad Arroe for being a Thanksgiving celebration buzz kill!

I assumed the lines on a long drawn out highway were used to inspire people like Johnny Cash to write songs or to keep slow moving grandparents and Dad’s scolding wild kids in the back seat on the right side.

One look at the recent reports shows how stupid I am because the new American fad is to cross those lines.

I often wonder how many sets of eyes behind the steering wheel realize those on the other side have family and friends too.

Everybody’s so freaked out about getting the big nasty pat down at the airport that we’ve forgotten about the other methods of over the river and through the woods.

I won’t even bring up holiday stress and what it does to the average person on Monday’s. High blood pressure is nothing more than a doctor’s way of scoring brownie points with drug companies. I know! It won’t happen to you!

Let me shout out, “Happy Thanksgiving!”

Whoa…that wasn’t so bad. Why do I always take the long way to sharing something positive? If we spent less time worrying would highway life lines become peace signs?

I will always believe in you first…


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stop saying, "I can't!"

It’s the single most creative time of the year; from electronic front yard inflatable’s decked out with built in lights and Santa’s that leap from secret hiding places to unforgettable trees garland and mistletoe…being fun with creative flow is no different than a leaf slowly flying from the limb it'll forever love toward a forest floor where it’ll share its compassion with Chinese Writing spiders requiring blankets to keep warm.

As Cub Scouts our Masters would haul in the boxes of wood and nails and from it we’d unmistakably create more noise than art; but it didn’t matter because Mom or Dad would display it proudly on the living room wall until the holiday was over.

Heart shaped, packed with stuffing, ceramic meeting a child’s ambition to blend impossible with acceptance…we’ve arrived in the zone where art won’t leave you alone. It’s in the air you breathe and the songs you sing; to create something new, different and totally one hundred percent without a doubt something that’s incredibly you.

And then it goes away…which might explain why the month of January is looked upon as being long, dreary, lifeless, dull and stinks like rotten eggs set out for Santa and the secret field mouse that snuck in your house hid it behind the sofa.

It’s not human nature to hide your ambition to be art filled. Art isn’t a mood or a season…it’s every reason of blending what’s inside with the walls that make up your reality.

I laugh while reading Andy Warhol’s handwritten journals…he loved his expressions so much but Canadians never got it. They endlessly invited him to their tall big and wide northern cities but nothing would sell. It hurt him deeply, because says ouch more than art that sits and sits while the curator grunts while spinning their fingers inside empty pockets.

The act of sliding into despair rather than take one small exploratory action is no different than ignoring your children. The only difference, it doesn’t matter how loud your soul screams you own a Radio Shack purchased device that allows you to tune out the wants, needs and demands of a self that still wants to find positive vibrations in the art of living.

Art isn’t just something you hang on a wall. Some people build motorcycles, make cakes that taste so incredible your eyes pop out and before you grab another pair your fingers are diving into new recipes promising to put serious amounts of love in your tummy.

Frank Lloyd Wright turned windows into an art. I’m accused daily of putting too much art into the way I share conversation on the radio, “Stop being so passionate about your delivery!” Some people locate art in politics, designing new drugs to help family and friends get over the common cold, turning a smile into a storytelling adventure with an inner city school that doesn’t have a budget to purchase a library so they bus their kids uptown believing art can be see as well as heard.

When you slide into despair rather than take one small exploratory action you're keeping from the world the songs you sing. I sing horribly but my producers Jimm and Alan call it unique. Van Morrison is unique. So was Jim Morrison and I don’t think Neil Young or Bob Dylan have ever been in tune but their poetry will live longer than the average summer breeze.

Why do I believe so much in the act of art? Because it’s never given me reason to doubt. Peoples opinions combined with my own bring injury not the act of art. Not being featured at Wentworth Gallery or shoved onto the shelves of a giant bookstore run by larger than life CEO’s and former librarians offers a place to swim in silence but with the internet a writer is gifted with a much louder voice to send toward South Korea, India, Russia and Butte, Montana. I laugh like a child on a Christmas cookie rush when the official reports come in that someone from Vietnam chose to read what my writing instruments shed one morning on a clean sheet of paper. I used to call it a once living tree but in reality…like a leaf, a tree continues to breathe if you place thoughts on it. Ask Mark Twain what it’s like to have new reader’s everyday picking up something he jotted down over 100 years ago.

Art keeps showing up at my door, knocking until my face shows up in the window.

Hear that? It knows your name too! Now we have something in common. Two ships sailing across a southern horizon whispering jokes heard on Jay Leno, Letterman and Jimmy Fallon. Comedy isn’t real. It a reaction to something you can relate with. So during your darkest hours and most horribly horrific holiday moments that seem endless, mean and unloved…never forget that art grows in every corner and will forever be with you no matter how many times you blow snot out of your nose.

Art is created then shared. When you hide it from the world you’re missing out on the opportunity of sharing a smile with someone in Ireland. It’s not about knowing names and seeing how many pictures you paint, flowers you grow or speeches you deliver to young adults stuck between taking drugs and staying clean. When you slide into despair rather than take one small exploratory action…the end result will be left in the hands of those we elect and we all know what big business has done to that.

I will always believe in you first…


Monday, November 22, 2010

Just tell me where I need to be....

Author Brian Andreas makes two incredibly clever comments; I’ve always thought I was taller than I looked and I’m not so good at taking my own advice but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s right.

Two of the biggest subjects covered while taking a second to glance at the person in the mirror.

I find great enjoyment watching others on that specially designed sheet of glass. From this side of the fence it always comes across like the man in the mirror is in total disbelief of their true size. Only to be followed by the attitude of I live out here in the real world and genuinely know how to take care of myself.

Although he never physically said it Mark Twain had a horrible time gaining the strength to look in a mirror. The written words featured in Mr. Twain’s books shared was his image, readers unwrapped the ingredients from the chapters that shaped the fingers that held the writing instrument. But asked to write an autobiography? I think not!

Turn forward the hands of time to modern waves and valleys and those positioned on the outside waste no time jotting down their journey on Face Book, Twitter and regular Blogging and what we see are the same two extremely tired eyes staring at a soul wearing the same clothes. It’s as if we’re visited daily by Salvador Dali with his mind boggling pieces parts and curves that tend to tease more than come out and say.

Recently heard a quote, “Insanity is when you keep doing the same thing over and over thinking something will eventually change.”

How much of your past is locked in a box then set free every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas?

The paper protecting the soon to be hanging bulb is slowly pulled back revealing an object so shiny smiles from your childhood still live inside. What seemed ageless were the corners of your eyes giving life to vigor and empowerment, a sip of rule breaking, age and experience is the object in a rearview mirror that never appears as its actual size.

What are we really doing? Of all the planets to be invited to, what were the chances that you could’ve been a single drop of water on Mars?

One of the greatest stories the Dahli Lama shares is how each departure is a new beginning and how you act today might affect where you stand tomorrow. He paints the picture of a brilliantly rich man with everything to his name…the next go around he becomes a beautiful tree seedling with bright leaves of green, a stem that will one day be several collected circles telling the tale of good winters and bad. This seedling is so precious; its energy felt several feet away from the roots that will keep it stationary for maybe a century. Then a passerby jots down a few notes: This tree is the only one that remains after the horrid forest fire that consumed the entire mountainside. It will take decades for life to get back to normal.

I’ve always thought I was taller than I looked and I’m not so good at taking my own advice but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s right.

The holiday presents too many stages whose foundations are cemented together by ample bricks made of quick judgment. Oprah has proved multiple times how indifferent love is and will forever be. During this week where family and friends spend more time together than any other time of year; pleasantly I remind you that nothing changes by choice.

Taking the time to write in my daily books while comfortably sitting on a bench at Charleston’s Historic Battery yesterday; the imagination found value in savoring the presence of twenty five years of why this small southern town is the only place on earth that continues to steal air from my lungs. The silver tipped nib connected to the poets writing hand used eyes to study the rugged wall that kept the harbor waters tamed, they lightly followed the straight lines each weathered cannon of past chapters continued to make as they invisibly taught visitors of a time in American history that was truly worth holding forever. In the left corner of my eye the Ravenel Bridge shoots above all things considered the past shaking free the strength to continue believing in dreams. As we welcome the rising sun to a future filled with endless journeys so shall the love stories that make up the songs we hum on long highways leading to a place of escape only to wonder if the image in the mirror would approve of such childish behavior while holding a writing instrument next to an imagination that still thinks it’s a kid.

I’ve always thought I was taller than I looked and I’m not so good at taking my own advice but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s right.

Two of the biggest subjects covered while taking a second to glance at the person in the mirror.

I will always believe in you first…


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Written words last longer than a simple thought...

From the book One Man’s 1021 Thoughts: July 26, 1999…I wrote, “I see last week as a starvation period—it’s my goal, my wish and deepest dream to encourage poets, painters and other creators to come out of hiding. Your purpose is to create…when you don’t—starvation consumes the true self.”

Eleven chapters later in 2010…I still believe art isn’t a world of lets pretend but rather I believe.

What silences art more is the person holding it back? Art was a class you were forced to take in school. We’d dibble, dabble and spin the paper around. We’d cut, paste and look out the window for rivers of inspiration. A chunk of wet clay dropped on the table captivated the curves of a child inside sending drug like shivers through a system that was constantly told to shut up and pay attention.

Rarely is a person pulled aside and given reasons of explanation to the spaces the imagination finds air to breathe in.

In adult clothes an artist’s shoes carry a scent invited by the dust covered trails that constantly invite a writer, designer, landscaper and chef to places of flow only to find themselves stepping back every so often wondering, “How did this happen? Where did it come from? I can’t tell you where I’ve been the past two hours.”

During an age when answers are required to be instantly found…if nothing comes to mind…art is set aside for a different day that often never arrives.

What pushed Agatha Christie past page one of Murder on the Orient Express? If Mark Twain truly hated the idea of writing an autobiography what were the exact feelings felt the moment his heart said, “Ok…we begin today.” Was Evil Knievel insane or a master of flight? What if Harry Potter didn’t make it past the original editor would JK Rowling still be hiding?

The artist in me once wrote: Your purpose is to create…when you don’t—starvation consumes the true self.

I’m not searching…I’m only inviting you to find yourself so the rest of the world can hold what you’ve kept hidden away.

I will always believe in your first…


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stop hating your mother for not remembering...

I don’t know if I should feel embarrassed or allow the imagination to constantly create new excuses as to what’s happened.

Attended the premiere of the new Sean Penn and Naomi Watts film Fair Game last night; a period piece 2002 and 03. I spent three quarters of the flick trying to convince myself that I was alive during those years. If that’s true, where’s the swag and everything else we’ve tagged to our luggage during other decades?

How did we get to 2010 so quickly?

My good friend Steve has spent countless hours trying to explain that the human memory system is no different than a Del or IPad…the more you shove in, the less you digest.

I write everyday. Two books currently sit on Amazon based on a single man’s thoughts during a decade that was deposited but my mind body and soul don’t seem to be spinning out a return. So today, I share with you, from www.totallytopten.com it’s the Top 10 News Events of the Decade We’ll Never Forget yet for some reason it went by way too fast to wanna display it on the fireplace mantle.

The September 11th attack on the World Trade Center
The Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami
The war and occupation of Iraq
Hurricane Katrina
Swine Flu epidemic and SARs
Barrack Obama elected President of the United States
Michael Jackson passes away
Forty shootings at schools including Virginia Tech
The U.S. Healthcare debate

I do remember being there…its impact has reshaped the generation once inspired by four mop top musicians from Liverpool while gagging the American dream in its aftermath. The term I remember where I was…is more alive today than any other time in history.

My Mom’s general reaction is and always has been, “The only thing we can do is pray.”

In the film Sean Penn’s character Joe Wilson challenges a group of young adults to name an event the government has performed and they can’t. When he asks them to name his wife they all say Valerie Plame…the CIA agent that was illegally ripped from secrecy because of particular members of a leadership we vowed to trust.

The top news story has become our latest fad.

When was the last time you thought about Haiti? Remember the earthquake this past year and the outpouring of hard to locate dollars and human compassion that ran to their side? Until NBC, ABC and CNN broke the story about cholera did the horrid conditions that remain ever cross the paths we make?

Did you know that worldly known musician Wyclef Jean, born and raised in Haiti, who loves his homeland like Nelson Mandela in South Africa was told he can’t be the leader of a nation that’s fallen below its knees. The constitution states you have to live in the country for five consecutive years. Music took his dreams to other corners of the world costing him and the people an opportunity to be heard through influence and inspiration.

What will we feel in 2020?

The 60’s were vibrant with voices vowing to be heard. In the 70’s fashion and music consumed our American Culturalisms. Ronald Reagan and Duran Duran dominated the 80’s making way for Hip Hop and Gangsta a decade later. Once locked into the new millennium The Wall Street Journal couldn’t have been more clearer when admitting today’s generation no longer lets music be its voice—teens have adopted the very tunes their parents held dearly. For the first time music no longer has a generation gap.

So we've given permission to the media to create new fads: News…and lots of it.

If the human memory is truly like a Del and IPad…in which folder have you stored the stuff that really counts? How often do you put the curser on Start then right click for search? That’s what I did today because I have no clue as to what happened during the first decade. I needed a swift kick in the ***


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Speak without using words...

Do you believe in the theory if you’re thinking about someone distant from your current step…you have the power to communicate with them from afar?

Speed dial right?

Let’s take it beyond mechanical devices and step toward a horizon some describe as channeling or occultism. Can the average person have a conversation with someone in a galaxy far, far, away?

Quickly we say yes, who isn’t blown away by a single thought coming out of two different peoples mouths at the same time? A daily jaunt with a brother or sister, best friend or mother and each of you have thought about the same subject all day.

The Dahlia Lama explains we’ve lived this life before; to know is to already have lived.

Through human nature, not everything we think is always based on keeping it Sesame Street positive. Native American spirituality teaches us not to practice what's is seen as black magic because to send out requires you to live through and or experience first.

Can writing an email, text or blog affect another thinker miles from your computer without ever hitting send? It’s too difficult to argue. To locate the proper answer would require arbitrators and peacemakers with no connection to either side.

Writing is the action after a thought’s been given air. Experts say movement immediately exists after a thought, it creates vibrations that shoot from your core affecting the path of those you come in contact with and those you’ve never met.

Ever walked through a crowded mall and an oblong frown with green and yellow colored eyes sent your great day straight into the cellar? Not one word was shared yet the presence of someone you’ll never see again took your tail and tossed it onto a busy highway with no stop signs or red lights to signal those behind you that an accident has come into play.

According to the book Powers Within; words serve only to draw attention of the other consciousness. Just like a laser, your vibrations go until they hit someone or something.

Which easily explains how pets know about your wild day at work and out of control mood the moment you walk through the door? Through unconditional love and compassion they’ve volunteered to harness control of your circles before it reaches the corners of the room where a thought lives and breathes like a silent wolf until called into action at the least likely moment.

The most fascinating thing about the brain is how it serves the body connected to it. At times it wants to act as a giant radio antenna fully capable of broadcasting until the energy source is gone. Interestingly enough, unlike a radio tower the brain also receives. When the pictures aren’t clear, vague and mixed up like a child’s collection of Crayons…the impression left in the walls of proper delivery become dented with confusion, cloudiness and assumption generating a new set of vibrations instantly shot from the tube above your shoulders. At least radio antennas come with a blinking light at the top to warn airplanes and wild Canadian geese that something isn't right.

From a distance experts claim each of us resemble distorted mirrors.

The daily goal, hourly mission, minute by minute play by play should always rest in the open palm of thinking clearly. Try to think without words. It helps you locate a peaceful place to stand.

The holiday season is by far the roughest most verbal outlet for families, friends and coworkers. Thoughts, actions, reactions and everything in between and that follows carries with it a weapon of mass destruction. Social media is nothing more than another way to your heart. By learning how to calm down the thoughts before they become motion…the laser beam your body is sending will be less damaging.

Julia Cameron teaches a valuable lesson in office play by eliminating the bullying that takes place. Bosses have their hard workers, coworkers have their support staff, the cleaning person knows who put the seat down and the receptionist is always the only person in the building making a true human connection to the outside world and how you act, react and play is picked up by their receiver and it doesn’t matter how good of an actor you are…the visitor can spot a fake deciding within seconds if being part of your plan is an action they need to follow up with. Stop playing the I am king game and start respecting every department. Utilize the strength of each member by allowing everyone to have a voice.

If someone sends you a vibrating email, text or voice message…simply thank them for trusting you to be so incredibly open with their emotions. Play the game of customer relations and build a better rest of today and tomorrow. If someone feels violated by something you’ve written, spoken or sent through the windows of your soul, lesson the impact by becoming aware of how your antenna is blasting the signal into their circle.

Think without words…


Monday, November 15, 2010

Giving Phil Collins room to breathe...

Do you remember Phil Collins? Drummer for the recently inducted Hall of Fame group Genesis then like most great actors on a primetime sitcom he spun off to hoist his flag over a land of incredible solo success; Against All Odds, In the Air Tonight, You Can’t Hurry Love, Sussudio, One More Night, Groovy Kind of Love and Separate Lives from the movie White Nights.

Fame for Phil has reached a point of no return. He looks in the mirror everyday wishing none of it would’ve happened. His current love interest has been instructed to never refer to him as Phil. He’s publically made it clear that he wants no part of the persona that helped shape many of our love lives during the Ronald Reagan years.

Fans of the group Genesis have never forgiven him for stepping in where Peter Gabriel left off. Female adult contemporary radio listeners immediately lost interest in their music man when he was rumored to have divorced his wife by sending a fax and yet to this day its never been proven.

Jokingly I’ve always said your twenties are spent doing everything you wanted to do as a teenager, your thirties are blessed with mopping up the mess and at forty…you begin to discover the dreams of a new person in the mirror and for some weird reason you like them better than everybody you’ve been over the past three decades. The problem is, nearly everyone you bump into is an itty bitty pieces part of a chapter you wish would melt from the pages of history.

Being in radio it hurts to see Phil lost in a dull ache. Being human I want to reach out and shake his hand for being honest about his change in life. Most men bottle it up and become grumpy old guys who want nothing to do with their children’s children and having a career is something you did when you were walking in the shoes of that other person that cost you more than you made.

The problem with change is it happens. It’s not like we’re suddenly thrown in to a game and poof Milton Bradley releases a newer model with different rules. I’ve yet to meet the motivational speaker that doesn’t flat out say you were born to die…and somewhere in that channel of A plus B the average person has an extreme difficult time coming up with what it equals.

With wind the mountain changes. No large stack of boulders holds back rain and snow; it acts as if it uses them as tools.

The man dubbed stepfather caught up to his midlife crisis at the birth of my teenage testing of the waters. Spending time in the high school principal’s office was a vacation in paradise compared to being at home. Closed mindedness opened each path to begin the process of running.

You’ll always catch me laughing when someone admits to being a runner. In my mind I see the human spirit taking the players and pieces of the game created and yanking the board from the table then hitting the path. To them it’s a jog, a way to strengthen the heart, a mental getaway like pumping weights or performing martial arts.

In the case of Phil Collins no longer wanting to be the man who invited so much incredible music to the chapters that make up the stones on the roads we walk…it’s as if he’s saying, “I’m tired of running. I want to be me and only me and that guy is not the person looking back at me in the mirror. It’s a past I can’t change. Please let me become who I truly want to be.”

Wow…just saying that shot these finger prints back to the hidden away reminders of my Grandpa’s Bakken and Dobrenz, both lovers of the land, people at farmers markets and church but not so friendly on the front featuring tiny eyes, ears and noses that sort of look like the ones they were carrying. No wonder I spent so many summers standing ten bails high on a stack overlooking the open prairie in the state of Wyoming—this thing called change made me into a runner.

But there was never anybody around to explain it.

I remember Grandma Bakken once telling her husband, “I wish you’d hurry up and get over this…you’re grand children are missing a lot from the man that taught me how to love all things!”

He suffered a heart attack…I never got to meet him while wearing a pair of adult shoes.

I’m anxious to touch the words of other readers of the Phil Collins story; to see if they’re just as forgiving. Let the music maker find a tree to sing his lyrics, let him touch the wind before it slips between the mountains, whisper a tune from the depths of your passing day and allow it to fall onto the plate of a man who’s obviously very hungry to create in different light.

Every house, home, hut or collection of voices comes with a man in the middle of change. Be forgiving in the midst of his new dream. Like a child he’s vowed to explore. Like an adult he’ll locate the invisible chunks of mud then begin to pour the valuable wines that which he has always carried making what he brings something to savor during times when looking into his eyes might be extremely difficult but through peace and understanding it’s more priceless than the day that will come sooner than later when you’ll be locked into a moment created by the art of looking back.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

I love it when you shout, "I'm bored!"

I’ve never liked being friends with “Time.” “Time” isn’t my enemy nor is it my neighbor. We’ve never looked into each others eyes with the idea of the final presentation being anything more than a selfish plan. Basically meaning we’re like two spoiled rotten brothers one step from screaming, “Mom!”

What makes me disgruntled isn’t that “Time” doesn’t have a face. “Time” always seems to be in a race; constantly refusing to let me catch up.

And then it occurred to me…boredom. Good old fashioned in your face really super long with no break in the middle boredom. The kind of stuff that hurts so bad that your guts feel like they’re being ripped out; if only you could hit the mall, a hardware store, go bowling or pick up a game of air hockey at some cheap hole in the wall arcade…boredom.

“Time” can’t stand boredom.

Look around you…rarely do you catch someone standing still unless it’s a boss creatively coming up with new ways to score more energy from your source. Dad used to bop me on the head while shouting, “Stop moving!” At 48…I get it. He knew before I did how important boredom was and still is in the department of learning how to turn 2010 into a 365 day year that feels like a decade.

If you haven’t done it already you will. You’re introduced to a moment in the mirror when the curves in your eyes no longer resemble the vigorous self you once held. Your pace through the mall isn’t locked on window shopping it feel more like get it done. Your dog, cat, gold fish Kevin and bird named Riverboat tend to lean and the thought of crashing into a pile of dried leaves has turned into a maybe tomorrow type attitude. Then without notice your heart shatters the moment your brain types into it’s built in computer system, “You’re getting old.” So you ask, “Where did the time go?”

Life isn’t supposed to feel like an episode of The Waltons.

Boredom gives you time to breathe. Cell phone conversations give permission to “Time” to move you through 5 o’clock traffic. Motown’s greatest hits put you in the past that “Time” uses to shove your booty through the needles eye. Taking the time to download the lyrics and studying the poetic edge Smokey Robinson shared with the world slows “Time” down.

Dr. Ronald Mack from Wake Forest University demanded that I stop painting on a canvas and learn more about those who’ve pushed a brush into the pages of history. Then he shoved my nose into other books called On Writing Well and the autobiography of Truman. As he aged all too quickly he could see the same in me and did all he could as a doctor to teach me how to slow down “Time.”


This isn’t a legal license to flop down on the sofa or stop raking leaves in the backyard. A creek lazily strolls through a forest floor collecting only what it can handle. Then one day it rains, its banks swell, twigs are tossed, bugs begin to surf, meandering becomes a flooded afterthought. Once the rain stops, the slow moving out of the way creek returns to being simple and low key, so slow a slithering snake stops by, kisses a bubble made by the plunk of a rock a kid ten feet up the stream tossed in. The snake laughs at his reflection then takes his happy mood back to the other slithering things that make humans totally freak.

Understanding boredom is the key to locating enough space to stop the race. That and a brave poet with a pen that isn’t afraid to admit, “You aren’t getting “Time” back. Even if you're reincarnated…it’s never the same life twice.”


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sit and wait or demonstrate?

Seth Godin writes: Individuals who push their organizations, who inspire other individuals to change the rules, thrive.

Status Quo is the group of people who waste time worrying about what it’s going to take to ship a package…leadership gets it there.

Thanks to a reckless and unstable economy change has become the hot new fad in American businesses and personal lifestyle success. Taking an immediate quick turn followed by an unpredictable shift then twist has generated more change in the past two years than the one hundred required to shape the industrial age that got us here.

Real people with “experience” rather than certificates of education are stepping into a game plan badly bloodied by an enormous amount of status quo in it because of the title and not necessarily the long term end result. It’s almost like stocks and mutual funds…there are two players, I want it now and shut up and let it grow.

Which one are you?

True leaders have mud on their hands. They’ve learned to nourish the field while better understanding the equipment to turn the soil. While growing up in Montana I quickly learned that a tractor doesn’t guarantee a bumper crop. As much as I hated my father for making us weed the fields in the dead heat of summer, participation from every department led to fresh fruits and veggies ready for canning by October and November.

Look at the way television is changing. Every network known to man realizes you’re zipping past the commercials. If they aren’t making money, actors, camera men, sound professionals and lunch buddies don’t show up on taping day. Reality television was ushered into play because it was extremely cheap to create. Consumers want more without having to buy HBO. The three networks began to take major risks by allowing sitcoms to use risqué language and subjects. Three years ago Charlie Sheen would’ve been late night Cinemax.

Why are gas prices continuing to rise? Until we begin to suffer there’s no use for the billions currently being spent on grasping onto a cleaner energy source. Electric cars are no different than Star Wars; it all takes place in a galaxy far far away. Government leaders forced you into HD television, who’ll be in charge of the demise of free elementary to high school education?

Individuals who push their organizations, who inspire other individuals to change the rules, thrive.

We are the people who want it now or expect to hear the sound of feet stomping, a fist crashing into a wall or a cell phone being tossed threw a window. We’re no different than the out of control children that drove our parent’s nuts.

But we’re trying right? Those who are have a brilliant shade of vigor enable company owners, CEO’s and department heads to put faith in multi tasking and everything else you can attach to the bottom of your shoes. Today’s workers are working harder and harder to the point of tearing apart your knees and ripping the backbone to shreds. The worker bees are required to manually hoist the pollen into the comb then stick around to cook it into honey, put it on a serving plate for the Queen and her guests then wash the dishes before another day begins in five minutes.

Stress is quickly becoming an extremely dangerous cause of weight gain in America. Not because we’re eating and drinking too much. Workday stress combined with home life pressure is shutting down our bodies. Daily diets of work, work, work has put the body in a numb state where it no longer feels it needs to send energy toward the proper system that takes care of cleaning up and out. Keeping the body healthy and in shape is no longer important to a mind, body and soul that works without taking breaks.

When there’s stress you heart works too hard. Stress creates sickness such as flu and colds which may lead to bronchitis and pneumonia. What do we do? We latch onto credit cards and spend money to feel better causing financial stress on marriages. The vows read for better for worse not bankruptcy and poverty. How bad can it be if we’ve made it too easy to dump love?

Individuals who push their organizations, who inspire other individuals to change the rules, thrive.

Americans love to get high on life. Leaders are shaped by the hands of those who give us five to ten minutes of oh my God. The only reason why more actors don’t become politicians is because our votes would be controlled by the number of bad movies we’ve spent money on. Right now Robert Downey Jr. would make a great President, Will Ferrell needs a serious drama with Meryl Streep.

Individuals who push their organizations, (it doesn’t say anything about being a department head or owner it says individuals…meaning you) Individuals who inspire other individuals to change the rules, thrive.

4th quarter cut backs on the American front won’t stop happening until you see more people put in twelve hour work days. Eight for them and four for you. Survival means sacrifice.

There won’t and can’t be change until Individuals who push their organizations, who inspire other individuals to change the rules see reasons other than thriving to be their high on life.

Which one are you?


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What if a situation lasts longer than last year?

Dr. Richard Carlson loves to play a game called “Time Warp…” The goal is to imagine your current world filled with unexpected as well as predictable situations; no matter what your mood, up, down, swung around or right down the center line…the game begins when you ask, “Will this matter a year from now?”

It reminds me of the way I shop for outdoor Christmas decorations. I stand there staring at the giant inflatables for several minutes wondering if eighty bucks for a parachute that’s been shaped to look like a chicken is going to bring out the kid inside fifty two weeks down the holiday slide.
I’ve yet to meet the person that isn’t a sponge. We collect everything emotional while refusing to let it go until something inside the heart or head softly says, “No more.”

The average divorce beats up the human spirit with the golden rule that it takes two years to get over every five years you were together. Now tack on a job that’s heavier than Santa, out of control teenaged kids, neighbors that love to park on their lawn and the pressure of knowing shopping for the holiday this year actually means hitting the convenience store goody counter.

Because I write everyday it’s very easy to go back a year or ten and compare where each toe makes its imprint today versus yesterday. At times I laugh because what I assumed to be extremely important and heart rattling in 1998 is an entire canyon away to the better. In hindsight bosses that caved in dreams were actually incredible coaches that helped push you to a higher level of playing.

A lot of energy has been wasted trying to make me happy and that’s without counting my personal source of power. What we beg borrow and steal from family and friends is no different than holding up a bank. Left in the aftermath of our path is usually a ghost town of haunted memories assumed to be part of the wind until someone at Thanksgiving pops up with, “Hey…whatever happened to?”

Will any of this matter a year from now?

Master Harris taught us in Tae Kwon Do that if you can’t control the current situation it’s not worth the energy required displaying it. Why swim in hot stinky tar and feathers if the bridge over the pit was a bit longer but more reliable in the end?

As the holidays near so shall the mood swings connected to those who make up the laughs you share and the songs sung under your breath while the radio softly plays in the backseat of the car. Evening newscasts will bark about how bad the economy is, your mailbox will resemble the graveyard of several hundred dead trees and schools will still put on their Christmas festivals with the out of tune kids lined up in the back farthest from the microphone.

A year from now…the only thing that’ll matter is if you’re part of fourth quarter cuts.

I used to laugh at myself when I’d embarrassingly admit that I have no clue what the Bill Cosby Show is or was. Knots Landing, Dynasty, Dallas, Seinfeld and Full House…they’re total no shows on my list of favorites because when they were big, I was doing seven to midnight radio in a day when VCR tapes took a major chunk of what little you made. Today we’ve got reruns but the times around us have changed making each show a relic more than an American fad.

Will any of this matter a year from now?

Why did you take a left at the light when it should’ve been a right? Why did you forget toilet paper a third time at the store? You’ve been meaning to put a Christmas card list together and before you know it, another year will be gone forever. I remember being strict during my teenage daughter’s life but compared to today’s young adult game playing we weren’t so far off the beaten path.

I wonder if a tree ever says so long to its leaves. What does it feel when something once brilliantly green becomes yellowish and orange while disconnecting during a collected thought brought on by wind? Does a tree wish to lift its roots and chase its children of millions? Will any of this matter a year from now?


Monday, November 8, 2010

Stealing success one piece at a time...

For nearly two decades I’ve sat with writers, poets, radio performers, musicians and dreamers’ who’ve developed an addictive liking to quitting more than giving chance a shot.

The most amazing things stop us from being us; a bleep, a blunder, a wishful thought; a swish, a swirl, the scent of a rainbow set free on a canvas once thought to be blizzard white. A guitar strum, an odd placement of your ring finger on an ivory key even a lyric that seems relating but would anyone truly want to sing with you?

Thanks to Google with its endless supply of memory…we continue to build paper card bridges to islands nicknamed, “Not ever, yeah right and who has time…” We expect a successful career to be handed to us the same way we give money to educational institutions; just slide the card and poof it’s sitting in someone’s pocket.

One of the most difficult tasks Mark Twain faced was the idea of having to live up to what fans of his writing wanted most; an autobiography. He couldn’t grasp onto the importance of what it might do after it leaves his fingerprints.

Mentally, Mark Twain had to convince his creative self to step away from personal fears and lack of interest and dine in the depths of what if. He was no different than a writer from today; that long haul of taking a thin thought that somehow becomes an incomplete sentence three pages long, evolving into a mission to edit the project into a landscape of curves and mountain tops. Which is where more creative’s call it quits, the process of editing murders originality.

In 1897 Mark created a plan dubbed Scraps and Extracts. Rather than aim his entire focus on the beginning, middle and end…a term I call word dumping acted as a writing guide to glide him through the silence.

Mr. Twain was forced to ask himself, “What do readers want most? Do they want to know about his life or the famous people he’s met along the way?”

This is extremely interesting because Andy Warhol’s daily writings speak of the same journey. Although each creative had attained a level of performance looked upon as being great…their personal lives were covered with the ingredients that have turned twenty first century writers, poets, musicians into blocked products.

John Lennon rode out a long and winding writers block by electing to never leave the Dakota. Johnny Reznick of the Goo Goo Dolls recognized his block as being nothing but a personal reminder that everything he did sucked.

Twain grabbed his reasons to quit and gave it a name Scraps and Extracts. Taking the words that bump into your brain during the midst of a thought and jotting it down. Collect enough of them and poof you’ve got a book. To someone living in 2010 where everything is downloaded inside two minutes or less that sounds long, boring and tedious and the creative ego feels it doesn’t deserve to be treated so badly.

Once down on paper Mark Twain instructed his editor to knock the lies out it and purify his grammar. To someone who paints on a canvas that’s no different than displaying a piece of your expression in an art gallery and putting a comment box below the frame. The majority of my art is extraordinarily thick due 100% to allowing outside influences control the final presentation. I would tape the backs of art paper over and over again to build a wall for the new coat of colors to seep into but not through. When you go back today I show the inquisitive mind my process of thought never being able to showcase the original idea because it’s so easy to convince a creative to walk a different path.

This is why Fall is fun to watch in the Carolina’s. Men with their toys reconstructing their summertime landscapes because something didn’t look or feel right and the only thing required is another weekend to rent a tractor and start an entirely new process. Give me ten minutes in your backyard and the artist in me will quickly uncover the areas where a great idea went silent.

Scraps and Extracts…

What if we stopped rushing to be perfect? Is it just another excuse to keep you from doing what you do? Twain’s fans wanted the autobiography not the man it would be written about. Canadians wanted Andy Warhol to attend their art festivals but would never buy the American Cultured art. The Bee Gee’s left Australia to gain fame in England where they were constantly compared to the Beatles. Freddie Mercury of Queen feverishly fought to preserve the drama he wrote into each lyric refusing to let directors and producers to change him and his style.

We were born to create and ultimately it’s our decision to turn it on and turn it off. If Robert Downey Jr. hadn’t kept reaching for his acting outlet while being stuffed into prisons and jail cells…which actor today would have the brilliance of Downey to play the part of Ironman?

Break the habit of creating a stopping point by introducing yourself to Scraps and Extracts. Biltmore Estate wasn’t a thirty day project. Nor were the Grand Tetons’ of central Wyoming. If you were in Master Harris’ Tae Kwon Do class he’d take your silence and show you how to teach. The best teachers are always the greatest students.

I will always believe in you first…


Friday, November 5, 2010

You can't go simple...that's so 1999

Do Grandparents truly know more or is it the fine art of using fewer cuss words to get a point across?

Author Brian Andreas’s Grandmother always preached about life being easier when a person concentrates on being simple minded. Simple minded? Weren’t they a Scottish band from the 80’s?

When I hear about simple minded people I get visions of my Mother back home in Montana typing on her old fashioned standard machine; the kind that requires a gym membership to workout the muscles in your fingertips. She still uses a rotary phone that hangs between the kitchen and living room; the very phone used when I’d pretend to be Kurt Anthony at Y-93. Most kids attempted pranks; I was more interested in people’s favorite songs. Their answers influenced me to cruise up to Rim Rock Mall and purchase what was hot while staying away from what was not.

If you leap onto dictionary.com and type simple mind in the search engine you’re instantly shot to Ask.com. Tapping simple mind into its system and off I go to Mind Reading made Easy.

Wow! Having a simple mind gives me mind reading powers? No thanks…it’s already being done on Face Book and Twitter.

I keep trying to watch the new William Shatner show “blank” Your Father Says but find it extremely difficult to get past the four decades of comedians that have earned a lot of money impersonating the Star Trek star. I’ve yet to hear him say something that makes me think, “That’s some seriously funny simple minded behavior!”

Personally, I’d love to go more simple; it’s my dream to rent a giant blue U-Haul it away trash collector and dump 31 years of radio living and breathing into its soul, “Here! You take it! It means nothing to me!” It’s not that being mean to the creative machine…radio people are freaks in the hoarding department, there are very few of us that don’t still have ancient orange reel to reel tapes and cassettes of radio shows we brought to life during crowning moments of assumed greatness.

Simple mindedness begins with cleaning out the closet. Not just physically but mentally. I recently asked myself, “Why is it so important for you to begin each morning with a fountain pen in your hand and a fresh sheet of untouched paper nestled next to a desk?” The only answer I could come up with was, “I’d hate to see my life if I didn’t do it.”

My Grandparents never looked tired, worried, bent out of shape a sports team losing, angry about the government or freaked out over the price of Red Delicious apples. Grandma Bakken had a straight ahead attitude—she wasn’t out to win a popularity contest. She came with one rule; if you’re stopping in the kids better have something to do. She wasn’t the hired babysitter, she had a life to live and nothing was about to get in the way of her claim to personal fame.
On the other side of the family fence Mom’s parental figures were gooshie and mooshie and filled with too many hugs and kisses. Being farmers from Wyoming they totally understood what being of simple mind meant; Grandma Dobrenz never owned an electric hair curler, she shaped that stuff with a metal rod she'd lay on the kitchen stove. Grandpa raised chickens to eat, if he wasn’t slopping the pigs he was ringing the necks of an innocent hen that needed to be un-feathered and cleaned seconds after he’d walk past them. Gulp! I’d lay away at night in my mother’s old bedroom worried that his fast neck breaking fingers were coming straight for my throat.

How many of us could actually attain the privilege of being called simple minded?

I work with people that can’t find thirty seconds to enjoy a career; if their ears aren’t connected to a cell phone their thumbs are rat a tat tat tatting a text message, then quickly running down the hall to hit the computer on the desk, send out an email, leaping into the car to have fast food only to return to the studio to do it all over again and again then wonder why they can’t get anything done.

I can’t be a simple minded person. Simple is a cheap word for I can’t or I won’t. To achieve simple means saying no. The very second you take yourself out of the game, life might not give you another year or decade or two to dance with the devil under a pale moonlight.

Simple minded people have time to watch the commercials on TV.

The DVR was created by lifeless junkies demanding space to create more nothingness.

What would I be like if suddenly everything became simple minded? It begins with a giant blue U-haul it away trash collector. There’s not much to look forward to when your entire world is clinging to a past you can’t change.

I know! Find me a box! I’ll shove everything into it then place it in the attic. Now you know why attics stink…it’s your former life rotting away.



Thursday, November 4, 2010

I.D.C. what does it have to do with me?

There’s a new rule to live by on the soils of America. The Wall Street Journal reports, “Maybe is the new no and yes is the new maybe.”

If someone says, “Maybe I’ll be at your party,” they really mean no.

If that same person happily says, “Yes I’ll help you,” they really mean maybe.

Demanding daily work schedules combined with out of control lifestyles at home have left the back door open like a giant red barn. Trust is no longer important. Friendships are temporary. Marriages will one day come with a NBA/NFL designed free agency clause?

Where we stand today is a slip knot away from that scene in the Pixar film Wall-E where humans have disconnected from reality and replaced it with free rides on traveling lawn chairs complete with wifi computer connections and endless amounts of flavorful drinks. The loud speaker above calls it a blue day and at the push of a button everybody’s fashions instantly become blue.

Bill Gates levitated the attitude of his business plan in the 1990’s by introducing the idea of eliminating the golden rule that states all employees must wear white shirts and red ties or dresses two fingers below your knees. How they united changed the face of Seattle and continues to serve as a positive link toward reaching a sense of communication with common people doing a common job with a company making billions of dollars worldwide.

You no longer have to look like a million bucks to be a millionaire.

Sadly, if you let one person get away with lesser than quality values the invitation is extended to anyone walking through the open door in the big red barn. Maybe is the new no and yes is the new maybe.

A few weeks back I was asked to leave a bright beautiful gym because my decision to wear no shoes while practicing martial arts didn’t fit well with their game plan. The manager ripped from his files the contract I signed and very loudly stated that proper clothing would be worn at all times. If he had allowed me to slip my shoes off to kick the bags, then it gave permission to a body builder to skimp out on his clothing exposing more body than respect.

Although I haven’t spoken to Dan since his display of disappointment I do understand the path he took pride in honoring.

“Maybe is the new no and yes is the new maybe.” It honestly means I.D.C. I don’t care.

A couple of chapter’s back most of the nation was chanting, “Yes you can!” While fifty four percent of the field is long longer participating, the idea of believing still exists. Yes you do care or you wouldn’t feel sick to your stomach each time something goes wrong.

We put up false walls of protectionism everyday with no hope of Ronald Reagan showing up to rip it down. The higher you build it the farther it’s going to reach when it tumbles in the wind. This is why Native American elders teach, “What you do today affects the next seven generations.”

I do care! About? Fill in a blank…

I do care about Martial Artists; that’s why I reach out to support the mental changes a student endures through the process of becoming a master. There are unbelievable amounts of questions that few can answer and nothing builds a stronger foundation than locating someone who can relate with the emptiness growth creates.

I do care about this lingering economic crisis because how we spend today is leaving nothing to hope for when my daughter’s children begin to have children. If we begin to accept second and third rate today how large will a Snickers bar be in 2056?

“Maybe is the new no and yes is the new maybe.”

Why don’t we just come clean and admit an inch is no longer an inch…its somewhere between here and there located on the corner of walk and don’t walk. The folks at Lowes and Home Depot will go insane in the lumber department, “How big is the room?”

“Oh…maybe um, as long as it takes the group Train to sing Drops of Jupiter.”

No means no. Maybe doesn’t mean no. If you don’t know then say, “No!” Or, “I’d like to but here’s what might get in the way.”

Quality no longer exists in a world where the decisions being made are by people who don’t understand the process of the product. Experience used to be golden. The only thing required is a wifi connection designed by a computer geek that doesn’t have to wear a white shirt and red tie. I’m shocked welders are still required to wear special helmets designed to protect their eyes. To a CEO that requires too much time to slip it over your head. We are losing money protecting their eyes.

Why did I write this today? I.D.C. I do care!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Everyday should be treated like Christmas...

Your new goal, a new challenge, take on or leave beside your extremely busy freeway of love; sometime today or tomorrow open your heart to helping someone without bragging about it to the rest of the world.

I’m with people all the time. People are my life and style. People are extremely important to me. Being this close I come face to face with an amazingly high number of individuals that say, “I reached out to this! I volunteered there! I dedicated myself! I gave to!”

With each passing hour we’re one step closer to that time of year when giving and caring shines it’s brightest on top of the freshly cut Christmas tree. The holidays with their magic accompanied with open palms and wishful thoughts of grabbing more from where that came from. I love it when families share. I cry big ole reindeer tears when children drop off giant bags of toys for little people they’ll never meet.

Look at me using that “I” word! I…I…I

There’s only one “I” in Christmas and its located deep in the middle. Stare at it long enough and you’ll quickly realize it offers help to the other letters that require a vowel to make it work.

The new goal; do something nice for someone without talking about it.

Giving feels incredible! You want to share it with everyone including the ancient field mouse impatiently waiting for a squirrel to drop a seed. Rushing off to share your adventures dilutes the purpose. The higher you hoist that goodwill flag the thinner the impact becomes. Hold on to it. Let it swell inside your heart. Feel the urge to set free a salty tear several times. There are few things you can call your own…let this be something that doesn’t require a moment to let go.

When you speak about giving…in essence you’re setting yourself up to receive. I’m thinking that move is against the rules written several chapters before your greatest of all great, great grandparents. Kindness is what you share with the person, place or thing you elected to be with. Kindness has nothing to do with wonderful stories you’ll share in the aftermath. The lack of a reaction tends to steal from that incredible feeling of wow…

It doesn’t have to be the holiday to be giving. Buy someone a cup of coffee in line. Reach up to the counter and tell them, “This one’s on me…” A shocked look you might receive but you have no clue as to what the person you’re sharing it with is going through and that single moment of sharing helped free them from pain.

This past Halloween Sunday…I stepped from the car and a man several parking spots away shouts, “Its a little cold out here! Guess your green hair is going to make us all warm.”

He found funny in my attempt to play serious Halloween man. But it was his laughter and genuine interest that opened a conversation. A passerby would assume we’d been friends for years. After grabbing a bagel and running to hide in a nearby corner it occurred to me that a thank you should’ve been shared. Standing up to take note of where he was, his location was never found…his car already gone. Of all days to meet a funny happy man…only few hours after losing my little fuzzy boy.

I don’t think he ran off into his day telling friends and family members about how he turned the green haired mans day around. Which is why the challenge has been issued; your new goal, take on or leave beside your extremely busy freeway of love; sometime today or tomorrow open your heart to helping someone without bragging about it to the rest of the world.

No emails or responses that say I did this. I want to do that. Just do it and hold onto it tightly so the feeling consumes every breath you take. Shhhhh keep it your little secret.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A wave of thinking...

An excerpt from the pages of The Powers Within: You cannot think powerfully of something without your thought taking form.

Basically meaning what you think has the power to become your new reality. Thoughts reach outwardly becoming an independent entity. A thought is a ticking time bomb that impatiently waits for nothing.

Talk about forcing you to live by Grandma’s golden rule, “Be careful what you think…”

Being on guard should be your hourly best behavior. Once you’ve created a thought, it’s been sent out to do what it was intended and many times it returns in the shape of not being a happy moment. This is the reason why you’ll hear people say, “Don’t put it in the universe!” I’m extremely guilty of taking my arms and waving them wildly in the air after someone shares a few words believing itty bitty thought particles can’t complete the journey.

Heated discussions, wishful thinking, fear of the unknown…its too easy to put into play a single thought then not handle the current circumstances when it shoots back faster than a boomerang.

The Power of Formation does have advantages; good thoughts work the same way. Plenty of good can be invited into a cold room filled with people just be thinking positive. Intelligence and kindness goes a long ways.

Personally, I can’t imagine where I’d be today if the incredibly caring Face Book community wouldn’t have reached out to me in the seconds that followed the loss of my fuzzy child at 12:05 AM on October 31, 2010. Don’t you guys sleep? At that very moment during an out of control twist of fate I was so glad you didn’t reach up and turn off the computer. Your thoughts, pet stories and compassion were 100% Power of Formation then and today.

I love this quote from the book Powers Within: Anybody can nurse a person but not everybody can make a good formation that creates an act of healing.

What if we went back to counting to ten before burping up the evil that lurks in the darkest corners of our untamed worlds?

The Dhammapada writes: Whatever an enemy may do to an enemy, whatever a hater may do to a hater, the harm caused by a misdirected mind is even greater still.

The best thinkers in the world don’t always have the best intentions. Gaining access to “wise” control invites peace to workdays, family quarrels, impossible dreams that feel like they never come true and moments of loss when words can’t explain what reality just delivered.

I often wonder if the common cold would disappear if the masses would stop thinking about catching it.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Winning an election doesn't always guarantee popularity...

Don’t politicians realize the “unimportance” of commercials, billboards, yard banners and fliers? Nothing disconnects a potential voter from wanting to participate quicker than shallow promises and unlikely guarantees attached to finger pointing so sharp Mom would slap the silly smile off their face.

But every November the contenders are given legal permission to litter sight and sound with constant reminders of “who” but never “where.” “What” doesn’t matter because it’s difficult to trust. “How” and “when” are automatic but it still takes every medium to remind you of something you’d rather forget.

A different type of election is currently taking place in the house of Arroe. Over the weekend we tragically and unexpectedly lost our Alpha dog Harold. A bright little guy that never hung posters for reelection, nor did he waste time filibustering for better puppy treats or promised to stop chasing squirrels if the mail carrier started including them on daily drop offs.

Harold rarely if ever raised his bark, snort or sniff. Being the Alpha automatically put him in charge. He slept at the top of the bed while the others snuggled near my stinky feet. Harold was always given dinner first because he felt a need to convince me that he was better or felt a need to knock the others down to get the food faster. There was no need for him to bark or howl over the excitement. He spent most of his day playing with toys while the others chased every shadow and sound. When it was time to do his business outside, he did it then quickly got back to be being fun. He knew the human neighbors, he’d run to their yards never barking just acknowledging because one of the seven needs of life is acceptance…so he it was his mandate to love everyone.

In the past 72 hours I’ve quickly learned about Harold’s importance. The peace and harmony he put into play is gone while the three other rescues race, stumble, trip and verbally holler in his absence; each coming from conditions so horrid that Humane Society employees were brought in to free them from bad at the puppy mill.

The single most important piece of their daily journey toward the food bowl and then outside for walks is missing. Who will be the new Alpha?

Sophia was a former champion show dog scheduled to be put down because her babies no longer had value. Two business men owned her, a caged life and style to keep her from getting injured. Almost no people skills nor does she have patience or a willingness to allow another pet to get more attention.

Sami, the top dog from his kennel, the maker; bread to breed…late night rescue in Florida five years ago set him free; he loves to dance, cuddle up in small balls in the corner of the sofa and be alone 99.3 percent of the time. His butt is always cold. Only wants human contact when he’s in the mood or you have puppy treats larger than popsicles.

MJ, a one time stallion, brilliantly white, fur so soft it melts in your hands, medically operated on to make, make and make; lived most of his life in extremely too small of a cage forcing him to walk on his elbows. No people skills or desire to be with other animals unless you are warm and don’t mind constant licking and trembling.

Right now, each sit in their respective worlds gathering thought but never approaching a leadership role. If barking is to be had the three of them stare at each other asking if it’s ok? By the time their reasons for wanting to talk in dog speak comes into a full display the thought of it seems boring so each of them return to their places of play.

Humans on the other hand have been trained to whip out cardboard lawn art cutouts and king sized radio and television ads to bash the opponent. Being big, small, tall, wide or itty bitty comes with a price which each election years grows deeper into the millions. That’s not even counting the amazingly high amount of time spent keeping your personal life clear of any skeletons or burning desires to make a normal person's investment in a project that may or may not make it because if it doesn’t…sorry…that’s gonna cost ya.

It’s un-American to boycott elections. Yet it feels like you’re at the Super Bowl with the two worst teams in the league.

There’s more armchair quarterbacking taking place in politics than wanna be players checking out the World Series between the Rangers and Giants.

In a dog eat dog world my three rescues will soon elect their decision maker Alpha and although I pay for their food and vet bills, there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. The growls, sudden attacks at the knees and quick decision to leap up on their Dad’s lap for attention is the only price required to be named King. No promises, no false guarantees or reasons to knock each other off a position in life that is supposed to represent American quality and the only thing we get from every election is spoiled rich people snots.

Just one time I’d love to see a real person whose been trampled by the society we’ve created to take the reins and lead the way. Which is my way of admitting that I’d love MJ to be the Mack Daddy leader of the rescues—of the three he’s been to the Holy war, seen the enemy eye to eye and has enough common sense to walk peacefully toward a successful conclusion rather than be convinced to stand on his back legs and accept a bribe.

I can’t tell you to vote. Nor can I tell you how to vote. I read the same signs as you do and watch the very commercials from politicians who promise a better future yet spend millions convincing us the other man or woman is the biggest mistake since the invention of a chocolate mayonnaise fried salmon sandwich.

From the outside it really does come across that being the best for the job means nothing. Like a courtroom jury…the best always figures out ways to get out. True Alpha’s lead…the rest are dogs that follow.