Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In search of Jamie; the day before she arrives...

I don’t think it ever leaves you; why did Mom and Dad divorce? Although my three year old mind wasn’t old enough to digest the impact it had on her life, I know what he did; he created a new family.

“We come from the family that doesn’t talk about it,” so says Susan the sister I grew up with. “We always knew Kenneth was active but how many lives did he affect?”

The more Susan and I thought about it, the harder it became to keep silent. The physical journey to locate, mend fences and mind your manners is a process that incubated in the souls of both sides of the fence.

Kenneth’s first of three wives (that we know of) walked up to Susan at my Grandmother’s funeral and congratulated her on taking the necessary steps to being called a true family member. Being second in line on the family tree came with no cushions which meant every word, thought or belief not only hit you but left indentations.

Attending Kenneth’s funeral was horribly rough because we were locked in a room with people that looked just like us but none of us knew why. Then Susan located the hidden away blanket that featured every grandchild’s name on it. As painful as it had been with the first family, the destination arose that she would work through her friend Liz to locate Jamie and Irene.

I was brought into the vision after Liz uncovered the miles that had been worn but through incredibly careful commands by Susan nothing was supposed to unwrap until she knew there wouldn’t be pain.

First came the Face Book connection with Jamie; I stared at her photos for days trying to feel the family magic. If the universe truly wanted this to be I needed to hear Casey Kasum sharing a long distance dedication followed by Nazareth’s song Love Hurts. Nothing…not until an FB path met in the middle of Irene’s gallery and me. She was the girl I saw at my father’s funeral.

You can stare at yourself in the mirror your entire life and never come up with the answers as to why your parents split. The moment you step away each eye exposes a new story; you’re now 48 and you’ve yet to meet the continuation of music.

I ask myself fifty times a day, “Why is this so important?” There are no answers only words typed out on a Face Book page or a Midwestern accent on a cell phone strong enough to be radio ready and you can’t help but wonder, “How did Kenneth’s voice sound? She knew him longer than me? Might she know what it’s like to have a father? Could there be something she holds that ends the silence set free in each of our hearts?”

Tomorrow…Jamie, Susan and I will meet for the very first time.

They say what you do on New Years Eve will echo through the next fifty two weeks. If that urban legend proves to be true; let the melodies of three separate chapters melt into one song and let it be strong enough to open the door, window and heart to take the next step toward finally meeting Irene.

Sadly, this story happens everyday in almost every walk of life. Children are searching for the other children hoping to one day invite inner peace to the blank pages kept hidden away because too people many want to take their family secret to the grave.

www.findyourfamily.com Amazon has multitudes of books based on locating the unspoken.


See the pictures on face book

Monday, December 27, 2010

In search of Jamie continues...

Today is the day Susan arrives from Montana; it’s been five years since oufr last gathering. Jamie makes her way into town on Wednesday; we’ve never met. I couldn’t do this without Susan, an event so large that it can’t sit alone in the hands of a single brother.

Susan and I were the challenge seekers, the daredevils, the answer survivors in a daily search for reasons beyond a solid purpose. I love my stepfather Joe with all my heart but there comes a time when what’s been looked upon as being invisible is given outlines that resemble shape.
The harder you push it aside the darker the image becomes eventually gaining enough strength to stretch shadows.

I don’t know what to expect in the hours yet unborn. I haven’t a clue what paint will be used to fill the valley floor with flowers and tree roots that somehow will connect to other families and is this really where I want to be taking this? Do I truly want to know more about Kenneth the true father?

I’d rather find peace in knowing that it truly doesn’t matter. He is gone, his history has been bent so many times the idea of believing any story is a newly discovered river of fantasy. So here we go…not a mask to carry or to hold in place so that it might hide the identity of what I was supposed to become because it really doesn’t matter. I’m tired of chasing rainbows.

It took over half my life to reach this week and how dare I allow fear to wreak havoc on the destination of a plan that time put into motion years ago. I’m only a player, a piece of a loosely knit puzzle set free to roam through the tip of a poets writing instrument.

I’m not out to write, paint, sing, holler or pour into a cup the emptiness each of us has felt; the strings of this musical instrument have lived and will continue to live in a way that sharpens the presence of a more suitable harmony. Let it fly with the leaves that have fallen from the trees and blow across the land building places of warmth for invisible frogs and soon to be shadows.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A more successful you...

Friends and family, the neighborhood and career…no matter where you travel you’ll never be able to please all the people all the time; a tough thing to face in world where being accepted means keeping up with the Jones’.

I grew up with a kid named Neil who never felt the need to waste tremendous amounts of energy trying to win a popularity contest. His motto, “The best don’t mess.”

Within the grounds that made up Optimist Park, being the best didn’t mean having the fastest Schwinn ten speed bike or the most decorated Levi jacket featuring rock band patches from Kiss, AC/DC, Led Zep and Marshall Tucker. In Neil’s world, the best was all about having the right attitude.

High school and middle schools try to teach the fine art of sharing a proper attitude but its long forgotten in the chapters that make up a lifelong career connecting to what’s left of the family life.

Praise and blame control the atmosphere between the Christmases’. Approval ratings skyrocket during times of giving but quickly evaporate the moment your eyes lock onto the intended gift.

According to Dr. Richard Carlson; not one person shares the same evaluation of life. Ideas rarely match which invites tremendous amounts of struggle. Without a doubt we get angry, hurt and frustrated with the way others treat us.

The invisible dilemma is: you will never win the approval of everyone you meet. The very second you accept it the easier life becomes. Stand ten feet from the perfect family and every child looking up at their parents seeks one thing; approval. Why does the preacher’s kid always make the biggest mistakes?

The other day a client made it a point to clearly state, “I don’t want Arroe’s voice on my commercial.” Thirty years ago I would’ve been crushed. Stealing from the wisdom of Julia Cameron; when you display your art you learn to ignore criticism.

Your daily goal should be to say, “That’s perfectly fine…what voice would you like instead?” Within in seconds the situation became a success story.

Praise and blame affects everything. Your dogs, cats and the birds you feed on cold winter days. Nothing shatters my soul faster than an unexpected glance from my Chinese Crested Sophia that feels I’m giving Sami more attention than her.

A massively successful client sits across from me this past Tuesday, from out of nowhere he wants to know how I turn every bad situation in something extremely positive. Everyday he faces employees that don’t want to work, managers that fail to lead and sales that can’t be predicted which creates even more depression and doubt.

Borrowing from Oprah’s self touted book The Secret; I proudly said, “Know what your product is doing to the people that count. You have a business that requires two destinations…a company that creates a product and a buyer that believes owning the product would make their life better. When you put focus on how your presence has the ability to change peoples lives, the journey becomes inner peace.

The author of a book pours their soul into the pages, fighting everyday with editors and printers never realizing the reader will never know of their struggles and yet what was written helped heal a wound or brought a smile to a cloudy day.

I love watching employees behind a cash register; they are the true stars of retail success. How you are greeted and treated can determine if you’re coming back. It doesn’t matter how much money you save on a flat screen TV or pair of shoes…if the process of taking your cash isn’t a good one, your spirit is shot to hell. I get a high off buying things. Imagine going to a kegger and the man putting it on is a buzz kill. Where’s the fun in celebrating if the team that keeps winning is filled with ego driven maniacs?

It’s completely natural to demand approval over disapproval. Nothing crushes a workday faster than a boss that lazily forgets to praise and when they do you feel like they’ve just attended a John C Maxwell convention and it’s too late to help heal what’s already been done.

Jokingly I’ve always said it’s a Southern Tradition to complement first then go for the kill, “I love the way you put yourself into the end result. Nobody does it better. Hey the client said it sucks, we need someone else to lead the dream team.”

You can only believe it once before you begin to take cover each time a coworker comes near your cubical. I’d say stop complimenting but for God’s sake it’s the only praise most people get in a years time.

Try something new…stop reacting or if you feel the need to express do so with a positive outlook. A radio station wants me to cut a commercial for them in Wisconsin the name of the business is Mueller. How would you say it? A revision is time, time isn’t always openly available. Now toss in Scholfield. How do you say it? Instantly most would shoot back a faceless email that exclaims, “Get your stuff together!”

Very calmly I called the physical business to hear them say it, “Miller in Skoa-field.” No feelings hurt.

That doesn’t mean I don’t fall off the wagon. I feel like hell when it does then quickly begin taking handwritten notes on how I can better the situation during future confrontations.

The age old Momma knows best trick of counting to ten before reacting is too far in the past to bring up during times of blame. Social networking has made us punk kids with smart out of control mouths never realizing how being open on the web has turned us into the same character face to face. Shots are being fired without somebody being held accountable. Our choice is to blame.

Something for you to resolute…try a newer way to walk while inviting peace into your personal gain: understand the rules of praise and blame.

I will always believe in you first…


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The beginning starts with what you think...

When you hear of someone having an imagination; its natural to believe they’re creative in thought or have the skills of taking an idea and breathing life into its physical presentation.

What exactly is this thing called imagination?

According to the book Powers Within, the imagination is a power of formation. Without the use of the imagination there’s no mental point of view, you’re incapable of giving a concrete power to your thoughts. The imagination means action. If you’re having pain your imagination can make it disappear.

People ask why I dedicate so much of my life to writing; it cleans out the imagination. It’s like standing in front of a giant walk in closet overflowing with ugly beat up shoes, weird summer shirts, unworn pants and cardboard boxes filled with trinkets and junk that should’ve been tossed out ten years ago. The most incredible lesson I learned from studying with Julia Cameron’s process of putting the artist first was learning how to clean out the closet.

Did you know your hair grows faster if you imagine it being as free as the wind while brushing it? Picture it being long strands of winter wheat kissing the sky while dancing freely upon an open plain of possibility.

The imagination is also a recording device. It documents everything, good, bad, creative and too hot to hold. The abstract mind lifts the imagination to levels of performance that can turn a trickle into an out pouring that many become connected to through art, music, motivation, science or a personal need to capture something as simple as an expression.

The imagination constantly creates images and or power sent from you into the awaiting universe. What you see, feel, hear or taste is picked up quickly by family members or people you’ll never see again. Signals are sent in the way your cell phone roams passing out information to anything and anyone willing to receive it; which pretty much paints the picture of the Face Book generation.

Mark is the maker of imagination collecting.

The book Power Within wonders what would life would be like if each of us could see the massive amounts of energy collected by the power of the imagination. We’d see atmospheres, battlefields, waves, onsets and retreats. If we imagine hard enough Yoda might physically exist.

The imagination is a power of formation. Feel the force while taking note of what you’re doing with what could be someone’s first step of a brand new beginning. Control anxiety by keeping a firm grip on what your imagination is delivering. Being aware of what you think, say and share is a valuable art that can invite peace of mind into the heart and the arms connected to it.

Ask yourself, “What’s the function or use of my imagination?”

If you learn how to use it, you’re gifted with creative flow on the inside as well as out. I know I think too much. The world held inside is vividly loud with Rock n Roll and features free Chinese food every hour on the hour.

As 2011 becomes our ritual for the next fifty two weeks like the day of the week you’ve got to keep moving. Your imagination is the fuel. Do all you can to keep it from being a knife.

I write to teach the imagination trust. At the same time, I’m the biggest hypochondriac you’ll ever meet. Through writing and opening the imagination I’m able to talk to the person who baths in fear. Developing trust releases anxiety much safer than a bottle of wine, six pack of beer or whatever other drug is hot to attempt in a world made of false hopes and crazy paths that’ll quickly get you to the horizon.

The imagination…ask it questions then watch your eyes light up like a Christmas tree.

I will always believe in you first…


Monday, December 20, 2010

What if bosses began the process of believing again?

There’s always something entertaining in the way we move; no step is taken without there being a journey willing to be shared. Even during times of embarrassment, the shadow generated has enough staying power to make someone laugh, giggle or cringe in the years you never assumed would approach so quickly.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono are piecing together Double Fantasy; she’s convinced her side of the bargain should be recorded in ¾ time. A studio musician hired to play guitar heard differently making it 4/4 instead. Yoko voiced her discouragement. John calmly stepped up to her and whispered, “Let’s take a walk.”

Once free from the pressure cooker John turned to Yoko and said, “Never bring judgment against the musicians.”

Yoko bit hard into her lip; trusting John was extremely important. Once the project was complete he turned to her and asked, “Is everything alright?”

Yoko still wasn’t happy with her song not being in ¾ time. They returned to the studio and remixed it then compared the creative piece to the selection the guitarist put into motion. Side by side Yoko couldn’t just see but felt what John was sharing; never bring judgment against the musicians.

In ¾ time the song was too predictable. Making it 4/4 allowed the listeners imagination to explore.

There’s always something entertaining in the way we move.

No job, no start up business partnership, no family layout or relationship with a friend is complete without this incredible tool from Mr. Lennon. In most cases the musician in question might be a coworker whose personal experiences lend to a successful conclusion but because the majority of us believe we’re fully capable of doing it ourselves any act of attaining a higher level of play is cut off in the middle because your vision proved to be the more solid path and nobody has the power to pull you away from the dream.

An art gallery in New Orleans blessed me with an opportunity to display my pieces but to make the agreement valuable for both parties the works had to feature what I painted in Charleston, SC. I didn’t understand. Nobody in New Orleans will purchase something from our side of the fence. Verbally I came across as the typical artist with an ego.

“People in this part of the world love structure and your art gives that to me. They won’t see Charleston or New Orleans; they’ll feel progress combined with flow. Take it or leave it.”

The experience reminded me so much of Andy Warhol’s dislike for Canadians; anyone north of the boarder didn’t nor chose to understand American culture yet they constantly invited him to shows where he would sell nothing. The galleries failed to listen to the musician.

Not one painting sold in New Orleans, the only thing I got for accepting her challenge was a brutal letter about how ugly the material was and how dare I come across thinking I had what it took to be an artist.

I don’t set out to win wars. The goal is to locate rivers that meander into larger bodies. It takes several streams to generate a reason to search for an ocean.

In Julia Cameron’s book The Artist Way at Work she opens your eyes to the thought of utilizing the presence of all the players in the room. Just because Kevin likes to text over listening to proper direction doesn’t mean he couldn’t show you how to better use the forces of Social Networking.

The companies that are winning are the collection of leaders that have reignited the energy of being a great listener first. We’ve stopped seeing the entire picture because the only downside of the mission is wasting unheard of dollars on a dream team thought to be better than what you already have. Who better to know your product, ambition to achieve success and ways to deliver it to clients than those your heart chose to turn on because new visions suggest you constantly feed new players into the plan.

Never bring judgment against the musicians.

Innovation means nothing if you’re stuck training people how to do your job. Even if you don’t believe in making New Years resolutions, be original and begin the process of believing in your worker bee team again. There’s a lot to be said about good old fashioned experience.

I will always believe in you first…


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thinking too much is extremely healthy...

How important is a thought? Ideas begin with a thought. Bridges can’t be built without an origin of thought. Economies don’t heal themselves unless someone has thought it first.

Standing on the outside of this human shell its safe to assume the inner core of your being puts a lot of trust in the act of feeding energy into the creation of thought. Use it up! The system will make more!

According to the book Powers Within a thought is an instrument of becoming. You become what you see in yourself. If your thoughts suggest that you can do then you shall become. This is what they mean when they say, “You need to have faith in yourself.”

You are ultimately in control of what one will be if one wants to be.

How often do you find yourself ignoring the image in the mirror? The very face you share holds tightly onto the dreams you refuse to let escape. Being happy to you requires a ship capable of sailing across an open sea and during these modern workday morals and ethics who has the time to locate the fire in the eyes of the image staring back at you?

Not admitting destroys aspiration or the creation of truth.

For several years I served as the moderator of several poetry circles tucked away in the dimly lit corners of extremely large book stores. No week passed that we weren’t introduced to the timid, fear filled writer who couldn’t believe they located the courage to lift their stories from the hidden halls of creative flow and let someone they’ve never met hear their rhymes and rhythms.

I saw it as the birth of art, which is an extremely dangerous place to hang time. It’s too easy to let opinions in. Creative people are always going to be sensitive. It takes guts to put thought on paper, a canvas, into the lens of a camera or to fill a room with your voice used as a tool to inspire and influence movement.

The majority of your thoughts appear then disappear. You become what you see in yourself until you give someone permission to tell you otherwise. From every point of view it’s bad to put concentration on what you don’t want, what one has rejected or refuses to be. By doing so you are denying the image in the mirror the right to be seen as well as heard.

I am not a fan of constructive criticism. Just because you see 300 movies a year doesn't make you an expert. I play thousands of songs on the radio and after thirty two years of working with some of the biggest talent in the industry I will not aircheck another radio on-air talent. Creatively we develop a relationship where your view is just as important as mine and through an effort I call John Lennon and Paul McCartney there’s harmony. As sick as it might come across I give peace a chance.

Thoughts are tools of execution. If you think it…it will become. If someone in your life constantly screams that you’re a failure, not a good member of the family, a weak link on the monkey tree. If you think it…it will become.

More writers dropped from our circle of word flow because spouses, friends and family recognized the birth of a budding artist and couldn’t handle the positive changes because it no longer served their personal purpose. Sadly we are the generation that allows other peoples happiness to be more important than the smirks we share with the image in the mirror.

Why do I write everyday? Because I know you’re brilliant at what you do. I can only give you a brick at a time to build a bridge over the valleys beneath your feet. No day shall pass that you feel empty because through every storm the image in the mirror will always remain and it’s into those eyes you should always say, “I’ll always believe in your first.”

Thought gives you new lyrics to sing…


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Is there too much talk or aren't you listening?

Some say they are while most say, “No way!” Those that do claim they are while very few have no clue. Being a good listener is an incredible tool to carry but being effective in the art of listening will be the handle that’ll never break.

Effective listening is taking the subject at hand and not interrupting those speaking. It’s being content to listen to the entire thought without impatiently searching for an out.

Wow! Sounds like the speech received from the morning show television producer, “Arroe…you’re missing out on the best questions because you’re too focused on the things you wanted to ask; effectively listening scores incredible answers from those being interviewed. Not only that but you need to wear more red…everybody wears red in television!”

Sadly the truth about listening requires you to become a full time babysitter without pay. Having sympathy gives off the scent of compassion and understanding but having control of empathy turns you into a better leader.

In an age of overworked multitasking please get me through this day attitude; a lack of listening on the coworker front has made being at work a true to life game of survival. It’s you against them with no real payoff in the end…

An act of listening is no different than a martial artist handing his notes over to a student from a different school. Now tell me why you can’t win even a bronze metal at the Tae Kwon Do tournament. Listening requires you to participate, meaning you’ve been trusted to hold onto their chapters; in return you’ve got to give up a secret. Like any marriage, it can always come back and bite you.

Effective listening keeps both parties in line without having to become the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s. The moment you stop treating communications like a verbal race…time allows common sense to create enough gaps to plant seeds that’ll quickly grow. Another words, take turns listening to each other without playing the oh yeah I’m better than you game.

When you slow down your responses you become a more peaceful person. The pressure of having to shoot back a response is gone. When you seriously think about it, having a conversation requires a great deal of energy. From cell phones to texting to physical words any act of thought exchanging takes from the pool of energy which is often replaced with chocolate, power drinks, ten cups of coffee, hitting the web and or anything else that can easily become addictive.

Teach yourself the difference between empathy and sympathy. Gain control of the time spent talking about nothing. Locate the reasons why you can’t find the time to listen yet you expect others to pay close attention to your presence and performance. Social media has allowed us to toss out everything we’ve got which allows the receiver to blurt back through writing which means there isn’t any eye to eye contact and or body language blessed with the true inflection required to better understand the message shared.

I confess, I’m not a good listener! The only excuse I hold is a thirty two year radio career that has me on this side of the microphone and you somewhere out there. Thanks to social media on air talent finally have the opportunity to hear from you which makes being an effective listener easier to achieve.

This is where my closest friends will tell you, “Yeah if you can get what you need to say said inside a single paragraph…anything more he won’t read it.” Busted!

That’s called the failure of being a radio disc jockey where artists give us only seven seconds to share a single thought over the songs intro and it better include the weather, a big sale at Wal-Mart, the artists history, the call letters of the station and lets toss in a point between the numbers because it adds rhythm.

Having excuses make me a horrible listener. Would I ever listen to my own radio show? Ouch!

Being an effective listener makes you a more patient person, it enhances the quality of your relationship. I’ve yet to meet the human who doesn’t love having someone they call friend near them…how truly close are you to those you keep next to your heart?

A great book to read is Don't Sweat the Small Stuff from Dr. Richard Carlson. No listening required...just reading.

I will always believe in you first…


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Forget the stars...wish upon yourself...

The most difficult part of the holidays is giving yourself permission to endure what so many push themselves through; the art of comparing what they have and don’t have with those we constantly assume will always have.

For instance, I will never live up to my stepfather; his house may not be a southern style mansion overlooking a valley of horses and big ole fluffy sheep but that guy that hangs out with Mom knows how to publically display his love. From opening the car door to holding hands at a restaurant to pulling off a slow dance at a nearby lake on the beach with the only music playing is what he hears in his heart.

Christmas shopping is no different. I find it extremely fascinating to stand in long lines eavesdropping on conversations about how Kelly’s getting this because Rhonda’s parents gave her permission to do that. And what about Kevin with that fancy cell phone that’ll do everything for him except flush the toilet…but give the makers of Droid another week…they can do anything.

I can’t help but wonder if snowflakes with their unique appeal and appearance have just as much zest to be recognized?

Author and nationally recognized social media guru Seth Godin explains that everybody, including your bucked toothed neighbor Jimmy the funky chicken Waterman has everything they need to build something far bigger than yourself.

Think about that…

If who we are today is willing to change, what’s keeping us from achieving bigger, better best by the weekend? What row did you say that’s in at Wal-Mart?

Technology is evolution. We’ve grown into a people that know something better is always a fingertip away and expect someone daily to take us to the newly designed promise land. We depend on others so much we’ve totally forgotten how to do it ourselves.

This is why it hurts so bad when our favorite professional sports teams keep losing, “Fix it! Fix it now! Where’s that receipt so I can take it back?”

Most retail stores allow you to bring back jersey’s, plastic bowls that once held potato chips and rubberized footballs that resemble Super Bowl textures but I’ve yet to meet the manager that’s gonna hand over the dollars spent on the physical team. The only way to win in the wonderful world of sports is to bring your game.

Everybody has everything they need to build something far bigger than yourself.

A wanna be video junky from Goose Egg, Wyoming can walk into his homemade studio above the garage and mix down pictures that Youtube can wrap around the planet two hundred thousand times moving entire nations to adopt everything from a new fad to putting focus on laws that offer peace of mind.

Godin uses the example of a teeter totter…on one side is a 300 pound wrestler being lifted without hassle by two kids playfully laughing a few feet over.

Without change we’d be hairy as can be Geico looking cave people trying to figure out how to warm up food.

It’s not difficult to redesign a path it’s holding true to the purpose that rips your efforts to shreds. How many projects do you begin that suddenly become fixtures in a box sitting in a closet, garage or the crawl space? Getting where we want to be versus where we need to be requires six cases of self support, love and three hundred years of belief. Hey American Idol is back in less than two months! Yes! What were we talking about?

In May of 2009 a stupid book idea hit me while cruising to the studio at four in the morning. That book is published and available worldwide which inspired me to pretend I was Bryan Adams and write a movie soundtrack. Ten songs deep into the sessions the studio producers have started inviting me to sketch out the lyrics to songs they’ve written. It doesn’t matter if I have success as long as the process allows me to have enough space to smile a real smile believing in real dreams.

I was completely blown away to learn that singer Kimberly Locke spent her childhood singing along with her battery operated Care Bears and believes harmonizing with those toys invited wishful thoughts of being live on stage in anyplace USA or the world. To which I ask you…what single most important thing did you do as a kid gave you tremendous amounts of happiness but because of peer pressure and a drive to be something that only rich people become you set it aside and now you’re spending your adult years wondering why you aren't happy?

I had a blue acrobatic elephant but you don’t see me working for a zoo. Oh wait I’m in radio! Truth is…I would grab my sister Margaret’s 8-tracks and 45’s and pretend I was a radio disc jockey like Major Dan Miller, Alan Moss and Kurt Anthony on KOOK. The only reason why any of this happened was because Lonnie Bell at KOYN said yes to the child with a humungous way way out there dream to speak one on one to someone who might be tuning in at this very moment. Instead of saying, "Here's another four in a row," I calmly asked, "What can we do to make your day better?"

Thirty two years later I marry couples.
Everybody has everything they need to build something far bigger than yourself.

I will always believe in you first…


Monday, December 13, 2010

Ink stains on your fingerprints doesn't equal a journey meant for you...

The most odd ball thoughts fall from the tips of our pens before the sun rises from it hiding place on the eastern horizon. The term “odd” is usually determined by a first level critic; self. Far worse than most bosses, easily entertained for three point two seconds then let the hacking begin. Words from the within are crunched, munched or deeply scratched off of the surfaces that which reveal only the things we wish to release.

All too often we give permission to writing to be nothing more than an act of letting go. Love letters are what you find on the web or wanna-be Hallmark cards you picked up ten for buck plus tax. The physical instinct of retraining yourself to find wisdom, travel and design in the words you hide is so 1999.

While at Levine Children’s Hospital I was allowed to gently rub my fingertips over the prayers parents placed in a book when having such communication was the invisible needle in an extremely large haystack. I could feel their impact dug into the surface of an unexpected day.

As the reader, I was pulled into the paragraphs like a Disney time machine classic that shoved my feet knee deep into a chapter I knew nothing of yet the unperfected relationship between the parent and my eyes felt much warmer than a freshly built fire on an extremely cold and snowy day in Carolina.

A picture presented in writing will always make it to the soul intended.

My mother still uses a blue Bic pen…her slightly slanted to the right cursive style is the type of music required to help heal the most common of colds while laying nifty cool toys under a Christmas tree decorated on one side because Dad is too lazy to reach around to the back.

The single completely unrehearsed thought that lifted its dorky head from the ink stains on the tip of my favorite writing instrument was, “Don’t be happy for Christmas…just be happy.”

Enough said…would love to write more but the level one critic sits way too close to my writing hand.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Too much work is what we do best...

Was there ever a time when job performance was based solely on doing one thing? Johnny is paid to think. The marketing department likes Johnny because what he thinks about helps them build bridges to new clients. Johnny can think happy things, motivational, inspirational and stuff that makes you perspire. Once Johnny’s eight hours of thinking are over he picks up a paycheck and goes home.

Radio on-air talent are sternly taught to share one thought per break, “Don’t give listeners a reason to tune out.” Yet CNN has five different things plugging away on a single screen. I can watch the Stock Market, hear the latest news and catch the hometown weather all within seven seconds of viewing.

Walked into my favorite convenient store this morning; the cashier was stocking the shelves while preparing to grab the broom and dust pan to hit the parking lot for a clean up at gas bay number four. I find pleasure in studying busy people. How they act, react and keep it together is nothing more than an open book of lessons to be learned. I told her, “It’s my dream to one day be on your side of the store…” She laughed the laugh that pretty much says, “You wouldn’t last ten minutes.”

Outside the NBA, NFL, Pro Bowlers Tour and men’s Monday night basketball at the YMCA there’s an ongoing act of movement common folk share called multitasking. I've nicknamed it The Unrecognized because every CEO, GM, business owner and wanna-be leader no longer sees it as the gift or talent it is because somewhere along the lines of history it’s evolved into the expected.

Evolution claims man came from monkeys what has progress turned us into?

Who is responsible for inventing the fine art of multitasking?

Shockingly it’s nothing from the 80’s 90’s or today. Take a good long look at the statues in India; figures with multiple arms with completely separate actions.

Dr. Monica L Smith a historian from UCLA claims multitasking is what makes us human. No other animal has the ability to do several things at one time. Once the human agreed to stand up straight his or her eyes shot out to the horizon locating every opportunity even if it meant putting them in danger.

Every manmade object you touch today is the result of multitasking.

The thought of doing one job at a place of business is nothing more than a Disney fantasy. The recession forced companies to stop negotiating and begin the process of telling. And it didn’t stop there. I remember my Master in Tae Kwon Do gently explaining how the school would be moving in a new direction and if you didn’t agree with it he guaranteed no hurt feelings if you located the door.

Businesses thrive on multitasking multi-taskers. We’re spending so much time at work a U.S. Senator will one day introduce a tax break that claims having a job is a second family and coworkers are dependents that can be written off. Yeah right.

Take another look; just this week I lost two friends to breast cancer. Last year three of my radio friends suffered massive heart attacks. The common cold is a world wide epidemic; the sound of someone sniffing snot should be labeled a weapon of mass destruction.

Is there a way to survive? Step inside the gym I belong to and you’d think catching a work out has become a new religion. Pumping, grunting and replenishing the mind, body and soul with running, lifting , squatting, twisting and eating right has elevated itself to the sanctity of inner peace, rebuilding and solitude.

There’s a much prettier name for it than working out or taking a sweat bath; mindfulness.

When you stop to realize how everything in our lives is related, from the well being of your family, job and the essential elements that give you motion…the art of mindfulness becomes the visible path in a world once filled with too much work and not enough time to pee.

How often do you get lost in a pile of expectations? Turn it around and become aware of it. What? Being 100% aware allows you to become fully alive. I find tremendous peace in helping a sales rep create an advertising campaign. To be part of a new beginning is incredibly inspiring in the way of becoming a brick on a sidewalk leading to and from other people’s happiness. A listener wants to have a safe drive to their family this holiday season and need to purchase a new set of tires. Mike the mechanic owns a tire store. Advertising connects…

A couple of days ago I interviewed former Carolina Panther Mike Minter, a loyally dedicated to the community leader that continues to work closely with the Levine Children’s Hospital. I was deeply inspired by his words because everything was based on a guarantee to never stop sharing. Through his efforts others feel motivation to participate creating energy that influences another set of players to hit the field. While 80% of the city snarls about their favorite song being interrupted by a story or experience the end result will always be a child’s life will be affected in an extremely positive way.

Mindfulness…being aware of what you do and how it affects everything you do. Try using your other hand more than what you already do. Using the entire self is a foundation made of rock. I can’t imagine how many backs are whacked out of place because it seems more natural to always use the stronger side yet for a drum beat to be complete the underlying tone is always the opposite side measuring the rhythm.

A simple pouring of tea, coffee or water can be a place of peace. Beginning, middle and end. A circle that invites multitasking to do what humans have done forever while being aware of its reason and or purpose.

I will always believe in you first…


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The world still belongs to you...

It’s not your imagination…happiness isn’t running wild on the hillsides of modern day Corporate America. Hitting the Wal-Mart or convenience store at 6am I’m given a bird’s eye view of what you’re feeling before those two feet hit the pavement leading through the front doors.

Something’s seriously wrong when the orange suited inmates at the local prison shack seem to have it a lot easier.

Stop! There’s no need to whip out and bust open a can of law breaking. That’s the last thing you need to get tangled up in your family history.

Initiative equals happiness. I didn’t say it…author and motivational speaker Seth Godin preaches it.

Fresh, stylish, remarkable and new lead to marketplace rewards. Putting forth the required energy that creates an initiative acts as a guide like that of Willie Wonka showing off his giant chocolate factory to Charlie and his uncle. The candy maker’s life had become long, drawn out and boring until the day he began to hide incredibly large golden tickets inside yummy to the tummy chocolate bars.

Willie took what he knows and made what he owns better.

Seth Godin points out the fastest growing churches are the newest ones. The best selling books are always surprise hits that come out of nowhere. Tax shelters are always based on the latest rulings.

But how can you be fresh, stylish, remarkable and new at a place of business that doesn’t allow you to stretch your hidden away creative wings? I’m always amazed at the number of people who can’t see their image in the bathroom mirror. The moment you stop taking note silence is given permission to grow.

It’s too easy to stop believing in yourself. The most difficult journey of your life is trusting the heart, brain and the legs that have gotten you to where you currently stand. Most of the time the only thing we see are the faces of defeat followed by an easy to convince personal drive that reminds you to stop by using only two words, “What for?”

I openly admit my confidence level dropped dramatically the day I no longer saw my image practicing 2,000 year old martial arts moves in class. When we’d quickly turn and that face would hit the mirrored screen, my eyes instantly shot to the floor sending my shoulders inward which gave permission to my legs to cramp out. Having no faith in a future that comes at us every time the clock ticks turned me into a stale piece of bread that refused to dry up and blow away with the wind. The spirit of martial arts was kept alive but I allowed it to be eaten up by self delivered mold and mildew making any initiative too heavy to carry.

Correcting the situation required me to retrieve what I already own then deciding to make it better. I’ve always hated running. Without it I was weak. I couldn’t win Tae Kwon Do tournaments if the system was willing to give out 45 seconds into a match. Since September I’ve patiently turned a hatred for heart rate risings into a nearly polished tool that can be used in the art of making me a better martial arts student. The techniques of breathing, holding the body, pushing the mind taught at school keep me motivated to reach through the running wall with an end result that’s trimmed 15 pounds off the frame while giving me a noticeably stronger positive appearance in every hallway I walk.

Take what you know and own and make it better. Initiative equals happiness.

But once again, what about places of a business that continuously steal the air from your lungs almost never giving you the opportunity to invite fresh, stylish, remarkable and new to their landscape? It’s their way or the highway. Trust me 32 years of radio broadcast I know where you’re coming from. The last time I had an original idea was the moment I chose career suicide over getting another paycheck.

Life is a business and should be treated as such. Take what you know and own and grow. If the company you work for looks away each time you share an idea, stay cool while being true to you. I’ve yet to meet the man or woman that sits on the edge of their final breath complaining about not catching a break at Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory.

When you start with you…the rest of you will follow. Initiative equals happiness.

In martial arts they teach us wherever the attackers head is…so goes the body.

I will always believe in you first…but not today. This is your day to believe in you first. I’ll be back here screaming, “Yes! I knew you could do it!”


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The forever romance...

Author Brian Andreas writes about his Grandmother’s most famous quote, “Of course I believe in Heaven…there’s got to be some reward for living with your Grandfather all these years.”

In an age where marriage is no different than a summer dress or warm jacket you can return to Wal-Mart…soon to be lost will be the golden words of the people who brought us to the party.

If time could give me a machine to race back to a childhood I’d spend the entire day asking my mother’s parents adult questions. You can’t help but wonder if you’ll be like them during that moment when love separates the rules between birth and death and one of you walks in. Grandpa Dobrenz swears his wife stopped in to visit him everyday. What is it like to be so much in love that death doesn’t sever the strings that played the romantic music flowing through the air like a gentle breeze?

Indifference is the opposite of love and when you’re not jacked up on that rush the automatic thing to do is hit the dump button.

Couples married twenty five plus years come with magic powers—no one is prone to the unpredictable measures of here, there and nowhere in between…but within the unwritten chapters of heart beats and invisible songs we sing…those who’ve been married longest tend to use Harry Potter dust on the areas of life where living seems dry.

Teens, twenties and thirties we’re convinced having vocal volume is the secret to getting what you want. Something mystical unwraps its mighty forces along the way when being who you are is extremely important without having to waste the energy required to keep you what you are. There’s no need to use vocal strength when the color of your eyes motivate more motion. All Mom has to do is flash a look from the corner of her eye and Dad’s rockin the joint.

I once asked a married couple of sixty two years what drove their love toward the winning homerun at the World Series; while he jokingly replied, “You learn to do everything she says…” Like a true Hollywood starlet she glanced up at her guy with the most innocent smile and didn’t say a thing. Instantly he got lost in her eyes.
Love is harshly tested every year at this time. The closer we get to the 365th day the more difficult it becomes for some to see past the calendar. Therefore decisions are made that ultimately control the rest of your life. I don’t know what the secret of love is and if I were to ask the emails would be endless, each answer being just as unique as the hand held that unforgettable day when the minister mumbled, “Until death do you part.”

There’s either a lot of dying going on or such words now carry a newly defined meaning…

Personally I wouldn’t know what to do without my best friend and wife Lee. I often wonder what she did wrong before she met me to be sentenced to a lifetime of having to put up with a poet that never sleeps while chasing the craziest of dreams. That’s the book I want to write next; the success of belief. Somewhere in the channels of a river there’s always a sliver of water that wishes to one day make it to the ocean only to be picked up by a passing cloud and tossed back down on a mountain side to do it all over again. You’d have to be in love with rocks, ugly tree roots, a child’s toy boat and a billion other things to pull this off because at any given moment…a single drop can be pulled from the stream and laid out to dry in what eternity calls forever. And it’s my belief the trickle of a stream would spend the rest of its days calling out to the one that told the tale of this single body of something special called the ocean.

If time could give me a machine to race back to a childhood I’d spend the entire day asking my mother’s parents adult questions.


Monday, December 6, 2010

I salute you with a hearty Ho Ho Ho!

I salute you with a hearty Ho Ho Ho!
Monday 12-06-2010 12:11pm ET
Actor/Comedian/Grammy Award winning musician and now published Author Steve Martin wastes no time to sputter what others mutter on the subject of reaching reasons why we play with possibility.

The list is endless of those who loudly shout, “I have a purpose! I’m here for a reason! I won’t stop until I locate the answer!” Only to be overshadowed by the leaky gloom, severe lack of gleam and unfriendly, “But now I’m tired so I’ll set what it is I’m supposed to do aside for another day to playfully chase a channel of three hundred on a television set already moving.”

Steve believes people create to build an audience.

Stop! Say it again! People create to build an audience.

Me being me…I could spend an extremely long week writing, thinking, bending, blogging, Tweeting and Face Booking on such a subject. In doing so I’d be forced to release the name of other creative’s that have the gift to speak, paint, interpret, meander, convince, seize and set free to sail across an open forum of other thinkers already lost in the worlds they manage like a Wal-Mart greeter.

People create to build an audience.

We workout at the gym to build a better body so others see us as being fresh and energetic; we’ve grown into a nation of 12 hour workday employees because we’ve creatively come up with ways to take the money we don’t have and make ourselves look bigger than what we are because being accepted is one of the major human needs in the art of surviving.

You don’t have to be in radio to be creative. You don’t need to be named an Art teacher to earn the label of being creative. Once a December sun sets on a cold to the bone day in Carolina a single whisper of wind unveils some of the most brilliant displays of creative flow of the year…Christmas decorations.

Go ahead slam that stick in the ground to keep the Santa inflatable in place...its your signature. Your house can be ugly as sin when the ball of fire climbs no higher than twelve noon but once a shadow kisses the step nearest your front door…dreams become a winter wonder land of blinky blink blink blink.

Today I stand up and cheer for Christmas tree decorators so often accused of taking it way too serious! I salute the father’s who grew up hoping to have a front yard brighter than a lunar landing on the moon! I pour lots of pride into the hearts of the brave souls who risks their lives leaping onto ladders connected to their roofs just so they can strap another string of lights to the siding only to find a bulb is out and they’ll spend the next three hours trying to figure out which one it is!

People create to build an audience.

Complain all you want about stores selling Christmas items way too early! Notice the holiday decorator never says anything about lawn tractors, plants and swimming pool supplies being readily available year round.

I salute the big bright and beautiful homes and yards that have torched the electric bill. That’s ok you have eleven months to pay it off. I’m proud of the skinny guy that dresses up as Santa and stands outside his house waiting for a slow moving car to pass while kids leap toward the window like wild dogs that spotted a squirrel.

No matter how cold the day or bitter the night, Christmas decorators brave the worst of conditions to hold in their hands that single moment when someone they’ve never met comes up and says, “Dude…love what you do every year. When I was a kid it was the only place I could find happiness. I’d look out that window knowing how rough life had been the entire year only to feel something warm in my heart coming from your vision of sharing something as simple as Christmas lights.”

When I was a child the stepfather figure was completely addicted to setting our house on fire with a storm of lights. He always told us. “I’m doing it for you mother! She calls it her winter time Fourth of July celebration.”

One year I complained and complained about crawling up on top of our two story house. It was horribly Montana cold and my fingers were too numb to remember whose hands they were connected to. The stepfather kept asking me to be still, “Your mother doesn’t need to hear you talking like this.” Being weak in his reasons I elected to stand up on the roof and belt out a few out of control thoughts. I slipped and fell from the roof landing directly in the stepfather figures arms. He laughed like Santa Claus, a cheer so loud it woke up the neighbors. Thinking he was mad and bent out of shape for having to listen to my wild mouth say evil things he calmly said, “I’ll catch you every time you need me. Which happens to be the second most important thing on your Mom’s honey do list.”

People create to build an audience.

I will always believe in you first!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Learning to love the rock band Rush...

Embarrassingly I admit I’ve never been a fan of the Canadian rock group Rush until the poet fell off the stool holding up the drummer. Neil Peart may not be comfortable meeting fans but the ink smudged into his fingerprints is leaving a mark on generations he’ll never meet.

The little Neil things that make you go hmmm, “If you choose not to decide, you’ve still made a choice.”

Neil also wrote, “When you turn the pages of history, when these days have passed long ago—will they read us with sadness for the seeds we let grow?”

“You don’t get something for nothing. You can’t have freedom for free. You won’t get wise with the sleep still in your eyes no matter what your dreams might be.”

CBS is capitalizing on the power of one person’s single thoughts. They’ve taken daily Twitter Tweets and turned it into the hit sitcom Bleep My Dad Says.

Its itty bitty wacky stuff like this that totally motivates the accent people share on a journey toward continued growth. Who needs a lengthy Time, People or Rollingstone magazine drama when newspaper printed comics require four blocks or less to affect your mess?

The Neil Peart quote that shot me off the tread mill was an open minded confession of why you almost never see him at Rush autograph session, “It’s ok to have fans but that doesn’t mean we have to be friends for life.”

A strong confident follower of The Who, Peart jokes about not going all out nuts over taking the time out of his life to shake the hands of Pete Townsend and Roger Daltry. Although success is based on being seen with those currently owning the scene, it’s never been Neil’s thing.

Writers, poets, chefs, cake designers, pottery experts, fashion police and those who put us in the shirts and shorts we wear never come from the same mold yet creative people are constantly criticized for being moody, out of touch, weird, too far out there to understand and the worst…a loner.

To which I reply, “How about those creative geniuses in the banking industry that shot this nation into a recession that should’ve been called a depression making it the most successful marketing campaign of our day.”

Every walk, stroll, run, jog, trip and stumble carries with it a seed to give birth to creative flow. Through choice we elect to paint it a different face. By doing so anyone who has a brilliant idea, comic release, calming tone or visionary experience is labeled different and usually stuffed in an office with a Nerd note taped to the center of their back.

Is WikiLeaks an act of terrorism as suggested by the government or a collection of courageous toss away computer Nerds simply unveiling hidden truths held in the hands of other creative’s who’ve assumed control?

No day passes that we aren’t affected as well as infected by the path of another brain generating waves. When you take the time to break away the surface of the skin society has toughed, unveiled are the Neil Peart’s of the animal pyramid whose passion and purpose in life is anything but ordinary.

I can’t help but wonder how many deer, sheep, squirrels and Doberman Pinchers gather each day to locate the proper note to sing. Native American Spirituality teaches us that it was the human who walked away from that circle of communication believing he or she could live out a much better life not being associated with the other fuzzy’s of the world.

How many bombs does Russia have pointed at us right now? Please tell me again which mammal is winning the communications race?

So where’s the daily motivation or affirmation in this all this? You have the power to change people…how are you doing with your end of the agreement? Grab a pencil sometime and jot down a thought or one thousand and twenty one. You never know who you’ll touch one hundred years after this day.

I’ll always believe in you first…


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More ho ho in the hole...

Why does everything at work come across a national crisis? Quick! I need it now! You're the final step!

That’s when I kick in with a dirty nasty habit…laughing. A trick I picked up from Superman and Aqua man who never buckle under pressure. They look at the situation and grin.

I recently caught a Wal-Mart employee pulling off the same trick; couldn’t wait to get in his long Black Friday line to catch the cause of his unstoppable vibe. His response, “There’s no reason to freak, no matter how fast I move only one customer checks out at a time.”

I’m not crossing the line when the words slip from my fingertips claiming this is the absolute worst time of year. The holiday spirit in America is based solely on reaching another day off that took 200 hours of unpaid overtime to reach.

If there was a large wooden ship waiting at the harbor promising to sail to a new world…would you get on board?

That isn’t going to happen…me being me…there’s got to be a solution.

From the incredible wisdom of Dr. Robert Carlson’s book Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff…the muscle we need to exercise is the inner voice that repeats over and over again, “Life isn’t an emergency.”

The average person justifies the current state of the world as being a major failure and how dare that happen on their clock. I know! We’ll work and work until it gets better! Only to learn being middle aged inside the boarders of the 50 states is the most dangerous time to be available for work—heart attacks, strokes, cancer, pneumonia are folding the workforce in half. How many people do you see wandering the halls with legs in braces and hands tied up in knots because of computer abuse?

My friend Alan is horrified of stepping outside his door until he’s 55. That’s the number most men reach to start living again. He read somewhere that guys between the ages of 42 and 55 can drop at any time. In the last five years I’ve lost four of my radio friends to heart attacks and suffered one myself on July 21, 2009. We’re killing ourselves! And for what reason?

Because we’ve turned living into a national crisis. It costs money to live and we’ll do everything to make it work.

Dr. Carlson advises, “Tell yourself over and over…life isn’t an emergency.”

As easy as it is to turn the smallest thing into a total melt down rather than counting to ten blurt out the words, “Life isn’t an emergency.”

Stop beating yourself up because you didn’t reach the deadline. Stop falling into the fire pit of coworkers who are drowning themselves in self pity and fear. You can help someone through a situation without jumping in the hole because once they’re out, what are the real chances they’re going to turn around and lift your tail back to safety?

Being aware of your mood swings is a brilliant first step. All too often we jump onto Face Book or an old fashioned email and cast out the shadow. Great! That’s what the world needs. We abuse each other so much we’ve stopped flinching.

Captain Positive Arroe isn’t always in costume. Being a spiritualist opens too many doors to being beat up but you learn to rely on the lessons of meditation and motivation to serve as your tools to climb off the war torn tank and keep walking toward a horizon that’s blanketed with more smoke and debris than the paved streets of gold so many brag of.

Life isn’t an emergency! Say it to the eyes in the rearview mirror. Tell it to the naked person stepping out of the shower in the morning. Like a martial artist perfecting the perfect front kick, it’s got to be done over and over again so that when you’re hit by a coworker or family members I need it now! You have the inner strength to endure the added pressure so that tonight you can survive the big fight.

I’ll never forget the doctor looking at me during the first visit to the hospital after the heart attack, he asked, “How many have you had so far?”

What? I’m 47! How many have I had? What’s the going rate? This is one gang I don’t want hit the streets with!

I don’t care how much you hate working out make it part of your plan; proper breathing techniques releases stress. I don’t care how many times a beer commercial tells you that life begins at a bar or at home in front of a game…the bigger the gut the more you can’t putt. Life isn’t an emergency. Sting and the Police didn’t sing every breath you take I’ll giving you something new to do.

Rediscover the Carolinas! Find new places to explore. There’s a lot more to our soil than the Civil War! Life isn’t an emergency.

The biggest disappointment I had about my heart attack had nothing to do with the doctor telling me something wasn’t right…the frickin ambulance didn’t turn on the siren. If my heart wasn’t emergency enough to crank up that monster…then why are you wasting so much time being unhappy at a place of work that legally has the right to treat you any way they want because you get insurance and health coverage?

Nobody but you can save you. I will always believe in you first.