Everything in good time

I recall as a child my parents saying the phrase:

EVERYTHING IN GOOD TIME.

It never meant much to an impatient, gotta-have-it-all-right-now teenager. But now, years ... uh, let's make that decades later, it means a great deal.

It's funny; just this morning, while walking back from Lotus (a truly superb health-food, vegan restaurant & juice-bar in Encinitas), Tammy and I were talking about this very thing before reading the Abraham post that follows.

We were discussing how one of the comforting things about growing older is the fact we're not in as much of a hurry to do, or accomplish, or win over something. That if we'll just let it happen, it so often ends up so much better. And nearly every single time.

Some things you're not letting happen right now because the timing isn't perfect for you. Some you're not letting happen because you are very aware of where you are. But all things, as they are happening, are happening in perfect order. And if you will relax and begin saying, "Everything in its perfect time. Everything is unfolding. And I'm enjoying where I am now, in relationship to where I'm going. Content where I am, and eager for more," that is the perfect vibrational stance.     -Abraham

Isn't it interesting, the thought process wasn't: If you'll really push hard ... If you'll take control and force the issue ... If you'll take the bull by the horns ... If you'll keep riding it ...

No, it said: If you will relax and begin saying, Everything in perfect time. And if you'll ENJOY where you are now. And, if you'll be CONTENT where you are, THEN you'll find what you're searching for.

Simple? Yes. Simplistic? Not really. Understandable? I think so. Doable? Positively yes!

I'd like to add just four gentle suggestions to help the process:

  1. Take A Deep Breath before beginning (center yourself),
  2. Get Out Of Your Own Way (remove ego from the equation),
  3. Let Go (of trying to make anything happen), and
  4. Allow It To Happen (that's Allow) ... In Good Time.

This works for me. And you know what? Is there ever (really) anything you can do to "make things happen?" Not exactly; sure, you can get a result, and you can often get your way, but at the end of the situation, is it the best that it could have been

That's my two cents for a Monday. Why not give it a try? And let me know how things turned out for you; I'll share the same.

Until then, remember ...

#itellstories

Happy Friday Podcast

On Today's Podcast, Dave + Tammy discuss a wide gamut of topics from frivolous favorite Cocktails to pontificating politically upon Sean Spicer, Bashar Al-Assad and Kim Jong Un. We also discuss some of our local favorite hot-spots to include: Seaside Market in Cardiff By The Sea and Lazy Acres Markets in Encinitas. One of our favorite pastimes includes binge-watching television shows. Several that we particularly enjoy: Game of Thrones, Longmire, House of Cards, and the more recent BallersBillions and Big Little Lies.  We wrap the show with special guest and the talented Astrud Gilberto, performing one of my favorite songs, The Girl From Ipanema (thanks, youtube). On a future show, I'll share my "two-degrees of separation" from her friend, Stan Getz (another favorite musician).

Kick back and enjoy a fun little cerebral romp with Dave + Tammy and remember, if you'd like to be on our show, just reach out with a message. We'd love to have you!

Until then ... ice your cocktails & supercharge your dreams.

Cheers!

#itellstories

 

*Equipment includes: the Blue Yeti Microphone, Apple Laptops and Sony SoundSport® In-ear headphones.

Introducing our Podcast

Today's blog is about as thoroughly random as it gets.

 

First: I want to begin today, as I do so many days, with an inspirational thought from Abraham. For those who may not know what I'm referring to, you can research further using words like Law of Attraction, Esther Hicks, The Secret, and much more.

If you'd prefer to just be inspired, simply read below.

By paying attention to the way you feel, and then choosing thoughts that feel the very best, you are managing your own vibration, which means you are controlling your own point of attraction — which means you are creating your own reality. It's such a wonderful thing to realize that you can create your own reality without sticking your nose in everybody else's, and that the less attention you give to everybody else's reality, the purer your vibration is going to be — and the more you are going to be pleased with what comes to you.    -Abraham

This idea has been rattling around in my head for quite some time. Then, last night, during pillow talk with Tammy, she mentioned (unbeknownst to me) that she'd been pondering the same topic.

Random? No way.

Synchronicity? Absolutely!

Now, onto the rest of today's post.


Second: is the launch of The Dave + Tammy Tour Podcast.

Woo-Hoo!

It's only in the incubation phase, but for those friends of ours who enjoy our "randomness" perhaps you'll enjoy our first two podcasts.

Tuesday's was called "2 Kids In Love Tuesday" (a moniker we've used for months now).

Today's podcast is called "Thirsty Thursday." Why? Because we recorded it last night (over tasty vodka cocktails) in preparation for today's podcast.

Is it good? YOU be the judge.

No, it's not perfect. No, it's not all super-flashy. No, it's not fancy-polished. 

YES, it's fun! YES, we're just enjoying kickin' back & being silly.  So, for those who enjoy such, please enjoy with us!

Listen as you like; they're only about 15 minutes long and both can be found on this Podcast Link.

PS: Allow download time

PSS: To see the whole picture above, click here.

Enjoy the Randomness!

#itellstories

IT'S ALIVE!

OKAY, I CAN'T HELP IT ... I'M A PROUD PAPA.

For those reading this blog who may not know what this post is in reference to, please allow me to back up a second.

I've been telling and writing stories for a better part of my life. However, it wasn't until sometime around the early '90's that I thought (read: felt) I may actually have what it takes to write.

To make a long story much shorter, it wasn't until several years later, while home for Christmas, that my sisters and mother told me that I "had the gift" and that I should "keep writing."

It was then, like many other writers before (and since), that I "gave myself permission to write."

Note To Self: I believe this is crucial to becoming a writer. It's the first step, and it's important to:

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION

Yes, sometimes it takes only that. But it's a very important step.

Anyhow, so sometime around 2009, I had this idea for a book and thought I can either write my first novel then try to find a publisher and/or agent, or I can try this thing called Self-Publishing. That's what I did, and "Discovering Grace" was born.

While it enjoyed a very modest success, both in online Amazon sales and what I call Out-Of-My-Trunk Sales, I moved on to write the sequel.

Then, I spun-off one of the main characters of both of those books, Carter Matheson, and wrote my first thriller, called LUCKY STRIKES. The books BEHIND THE 8 BALL and KNUCKLE DOWN followed behind. 

That's when I began to imagine what my book would be like as a FILM.

I had written and produced the short films REWIND, POKE THE SLEEPING BEAR and TAKE TWO (all can be viewed on this site), so I knew how the machine worked. But was I ready to create a feature?

So, I set out to (a) adapt the book to screenplay, (b) find a DP who would share my vision, (c) raise the money to make the film, and once that was raised, (d) cast it, (e) find the locations, (f) shoot it, and after all that, (g) edit it, (h) get it scored and sound designed, then (i) SELL it.

And, as you can imagine, that took much longer than expected. But we did it. The well-known company, WORD ENTERTAINMENT (Word Films) bought it, and took it to market. Shortly thereafter, they sold some of the rights to CURB FILMS (Curb Entertainment) and together they continue to get into the marketplace. It premiered on Hallmark's FEELN earlier this year.

So, what began as a germ of an idea, went from idea, to paper, to book, to screenplay, to film. And man, is that a fantastic feeling of accomplishment!

Here we are, EIGHT YEARS LATER ... (WHAT?) ... and it's finding people with a message about redemption and the power of forgiveness.

I don't know about you, but I think (read: KNOW) we ALL need a little forgiveness.

Want to watch the TRAILER and the FIRST 10 minutes of the film? CLICK HERE

As I said at the beginning, I'm about as proud of this film as anything I've ever done. And to those who've asked, "Will there be a sequel?" I answer, ONLY if there is interest, particularly from (a) investors and (b) distributors, because if you don't have those, then it's a much tougher road.

THANK YOU to so many people who helped put this film together. In fact, want to see just a small smattering of people who helped make Chasing Grace a reality? GO HERE + CLICK CREW

#itellstories

To All The Writers

Today's Blog is To All The Writers...

Today is about ENCOURAGEMENT: I want you to know YOU CAN DO THIS.

Today is about PRAISE: You are good at what you do; primarily because you are DOING it.

Today is about FREEDOM: You are free to write whatever you want; it's YOUR world.

Today is about MAKING A MARK: Leave your mark, your voice, your signature...by YOUR words.


At last count, I just passed the 36,000 word mark on my latest novel SEDUCTION AT DAYBREAK. It's been a bit daunting, thus far.

Why?

Because I've never written a Murder Mystery before. I wasn't sure how they worked; I mean, I'd read enough, but until you sit down to write one--a original idea, it's harder than one thought.

I've also never written a book with a WOMAN PROTAGONIST before. But I gotta tell you; it's freakin' awesome. Guess I'm channeling my inner female side.

Likewise, I've never had to write a book whereby you have no idea who the ANTAGONIST is in the beginning of the book. It's a huge challenge, and has caused me to stretch my muscles.

By the way, not only do I have THREE thrillers, TWO family stories and ONE horror/pulp fiction to my credit, but besides this murder mystery, I'm working on two non-fiction books. One of those two books are about WRITING.

In this (coming) book, I will share my tricks & techniques on writing, writing fast, developing characters, crafting arresting dialogue and much more. I'll also share what I've learned about self-publishing; the Ins & Outs, the Dos & Don'ts, what to be prepared for, what to do without, and how Agents fit into this world. I think you'll like it.

Well, I've got to run. I have another 2500 to 3000 words to accomplish today, and as the saying goes, books don't write themselves.

So, as I was thinking about today's blog, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite quotes. Yes, I have many, but these are several that hang with me. Perhaps you'll resonate with them, too.

Enjoy these quotes. Share with me (a) if you're a writer (or writer wanna-be), (b) which of these quotes you connected to (and share one of your favorites), and (c) tell me the story you want to tell...but perhaps have never had the guts (read: given yourself permission) to write.

Cheers!

#itellstories


On Simplicity in Writing ...

On being true to oneself and being respectful to protect our craft ...

A Truly Great Piece Of Advice ...

Painful, but true ...

Advice from one of the Masters of the craft ...

A great analogy ...

Bad vs. Good ...

On Being Brave ...

And perhaps the very best piece of advice for a writer ...

Now, Go Write Something!

Give Back

If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.

Booker T. Washington

Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) was an American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community. Washington was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants. Washington mobilized a nationwide coalition of middle-class blacks, church leaders, and white philanthropists and politicians, with a long-term goal of building the community's economic strength and pride by a focus on self-help and schooling.

Washington's life was about GIVING BACK.

We can all take a lesson from this.

During a time when we're perhaps more self-absorbed than we should be, we can take a moment to consider another.


Today, I want to challenge you. I want you to think about doing something for someone else. It doesn't have to be big. It can be small.

I can be for a friend. It can be for a stranger.

Sometime today, out of nowhere, and for no reason whatsoever, do something for someone else.

Need some suggestions?

  • Call a friend to say hello. Just hello
  • Take a co-worker a cup of coffee/tea, just because
  • Help a stranger cross a busy street, because you can
  • Carry and/or unload packages for someone having a challenge
  • Spend an extra half-hour on a job, even when not necessary
  • Yield the right-of-way to another driver, because it isn't expected
  • Drop an email to a friend you haven't spoken with in awhile
  • In the drive-through, pay for the customer behind you
  • Make a donation to a service or cause because you have a little extra
  • Compliment a stranger on the bus/subway/train because it's kind
  • Hug someone who looks like they need it

It's not like I'm suggesting you go paint a neighbor's house, or change the oil in their car, or take someone to an expensive lunch, or donate your savings account to a worthy cause...

I'm suggesting a small, yet significant gesture that lets another know that you care.

That's it.

Thanks for being a part of my blog. While I may not say it often, I genuinely appreciate it. Your taking the time out of your busy life to read what's rattling around in my head (and heart), is a real blessing to me.

Writers are often only recognized for their "Big Works" like novels, screenplays, and such. But sometime's it's the little things, like these blogs, that validate our craft.

Thank you.

#itellstories

 

 

Let Go. Let Be.

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

- Lao Tzu, Philosopher


Little is known about the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu (also known as Laozi or Lao Tze), who is a guiding figure in Daoism (also translated as Taoism), a still popular spiritual practice. He is said to have been a record keeper in the court of the central Chinese Zhou Dynasty in the 6th century B.C., and an older contemporary of Confucius. This could be true, but he may also have been entirely mythical—much like Homer in Western culture. It is certainly very unlikely that, as some legends say, he was conceived when his mother saw a falling star, or born an old man with very long earlobes – or lived 990 years.  (source)

Either way, the message is the same: When you let go of all the things you think make you are what you are and who you are, only then can you be(come) free to BE all the things you might be.

I like that. And here's the reason why.

When I was growing up a PK (preacher's kid), I was told pretty much what to do, how to do it, what to believe and how to believe it. I wasn't asked, as many are not; instead, I was taught (some would say force fed) into believing in a system (education), a method (faith), and ultimately a belief (religion).

Here, I would copy, craft and control a belief system that would guide my life for decades to come. And while many around me shunned that system, I chose to follow--primarily based upon the bedrock of guilt that if I didn't follow these dictates, and to the letter of the law, I would be operating (a) above the will of God, (b) below the law, and ultimately (c) outside the parameters of "all that is good and right and holy."

And while that can be seen as "right" by many, I have come to realize that just because some see it as right, doesn't necessarily make it right.

This is not a message of judgement. This is not a message of disbelief in a particular system. This is not a slam against anyone who chooses to believe in any way, shape, or form.

It does, however, share my particular "flavor of faith," if you will. It's one I have chosen. It suits me. It feels right to me. And it works for me. That faith is LOVE. Above all else, we must LOVE one another. It's a universal truth that yields universal results (hopefully): reciprocal love.

As for organized religion, I have a deep and ever-growing challenge to embrace it. Most of what I see is anger, fighting, rage against the machine of what should be a message of love. All these factions say that "their way is the only way." All the while, "faction number two" is saying "their way is the only way." 

As far as I'm concerned, the ONLY way is the LOVE way. Give love, share love, spread love. Most else is noise, rules and frankly, a lot of bullshit.

"Organized Religion" is mostly a belief (system) that has been practiced over and over, by a group of people who got to write the laws and incorporate them. It's based upon ONE belief system, which at its essence, chooses, or rather enforces ONE WAY TO ONE ANSWER.

Isn't this what got us here in the first place? Isn't this what got us fighting, and entering wars, and creating hatred with our fellow man? Isn't this what pushed us apart, rather than pulled us together?

Much like politics, I feel it's divisive, exclusionary, alienating, while simultaneously devoted, evangelical and aligning. But at what cost Freedom? Peace? Harmony? Justice? Community?

WHAT IF . . .

What if we were to leave each other alone to find our own path? What if were to leave each other to find our own way, our own inner voice, our own journey to whatever we feel is right, and harmonious, and peaceful, and good?

What if we simply said, to borrow an old Transactional Analysis term . . .

I'm Okay. You're Okay.

And leave it at that. Is that so hard? Would that not solve a good many problems? Would that not allow one another to go about their business, following the particular God they chose, without any worry of being judged, or maligned, or tortured and even killed? 

Wouldn't that be great?  

I think so.

In the interest of not being one-sided, here's a verse I learned as a child, but which has given me a new insight, as an adult. And to me, it really boils it down a singular message. I chose the New International Reader's Version because I'm told it's the easiest to understand.

"The whole law is fulfilled by obeying this one command. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”  -Galatians 5:14, (NIRV)

I remember a phrase I used to use in graduate school, while entering debates about particular matters. It went like this:

I didn't come into this world to live up to your expectations, just as you didn't come to live up to mine. 

Some will add: So, let's agree to disagree

Today, why don't we try another idea:

Let Go and Allow One Another To Live Their Own Dreams

It's easy to understand. It's easily digestible by everyone. It claims no particular "flavor of faith" but instead declares One Mission:

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

WHERE THEY ARE

IN WHAT THEY BELIEVE

IN WHOM THEY CHOOSE TO FOLLOW

END OF DISCUSSION.

Oh, there's more of this sermon, but I'll share more another day. For now, that's my two cents

Like it. Leave it. Love it. Share it.

It's Your Call.

#itellstories

The Power of Tenacity

 

DAVE + TAMMY TOUR: BEFORE MARATHON

 

This weekend, Tammy & I ran the Encinitas Half Marathon; it was an awesome, well-orchestrated event and we were thrilled to be a part of it. And even though we missed our goal of by a margin of only 1 minutes & 37 seconds, we were happy to have finished in good health and unharmed. Truth be told, Tammy may have easily come in a good 2-3 minutes sooner, had she not lagged behind cheering my ass up those last two hills.

While we started our training at the same time nearly 9 weeks ago, two things kept me from training these last six weeks, and keeping me from performing better: a severe case of vertigo and a torn calf muscle. The vertigo made me feel like a walking, talking Mr. Bobble Head. And the torn calf muscled wasn't so bad, as long as I wasn't walking up or down stairs or hills. Luckily, I healed up in time to run.

Tammy has run a number of Marathons in her day. I have run two half-marathons; the last one, was 7 years ago. But when we moved here, we wanted to (a) do something that introduced us to the community, and (b) got us to put a goal out in front of us. Mission accomplished. The Good News? Our tenacity paid off.

It's an odd thing when you're running that distance: your mind can't help but focus on any pain that is happening. You can try, as I did, to distract yourself in order for your mind to wander. While running those 13.1 miles, there were a number of times a pain would kick in. Here's a list of some of the things going through my mind at various points:

  • Mile 2What? Hit the porta-potty? Hell, no, we just got started!
  • Mile 4Now is NOT a good time for that right calf to begin cramping. Quick, think about something else!
  • Mile 6What the freak? What do you mean we're only HALF WAY done?
  • Mile 7: Okay, NOT a good time for that NERVE to start pinging in my left foot. Quick, think about the movie by the same name!
  • Mile 8Alright, just over five to go and still NOT a good time to think about hitting the porta-potty. C'mon, you can wait! Reach deep, think about that web video proposal you're putting together for a client!
  • Mile 11Okay, Dad, I know you're with me; c'mon, I could really use a push! [This was the 29th anniversary of his passing]
  • Mile 12What? Still another TWO to go? C'mon, who thought it was a good idea to have a HILL near the END of the race,? 3rd & West K Street; I'll remember you! 
  • Mile 12.99What another hill? This close to the end? Shut up inner voice, you can do this. C'mon, you can HEAR the finish line...and that song by Survivor that'll never die!
  • THE FINISH LINEHOLY CRAP WE MADE IT!! People give us space, let us catch our breath! WE DID IT!
 

Here's a man I've been reading lately; one of the early guru's of self help: Earl Nightingale

Have you ever committed to a situation, worked to meet a goal, gave it all you had, only to find yourself wanting to give up? Was it a job promotion? A sports skill? An artistic talent? A field of study? WHAT KEPT YOU FROM PUSHING TO THE END...CALLED SUCCESS?

Remember when you PUSHED THROUGH and made it to the other side and thought to yourself: Man, am I glad I never gave up! I JUST DID SO THIS PAST WEEKEND. YOU CAN DO IT NOW!

 

I've got a challenge for you. Think about something you've always wanted to do. Maybe you've never had the strength, courage, willpower, or downright tenacity to do. But you WANTED it.

Consider this:

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO TRY - EVEN IF YOU FAIL

I know, nobody likes to fail. But what if you COULDN'T fail? Imagine it that way. IMAGINE THAT IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO FAIL.

Now, tell me: Will you still set out to do it?

Give yourself a REACHABLE GOAL. Allow a OBTAINABLE TIME in which to reach it. Then lay out the steps . . . train/practice/learn accordingly . . . and tell me how it went.


 

HOW DID THE RACE END?

 

DAVE + TAMMY TOUR: AFTER MARATHON

 
 

Thank you, #encinitas and #encinitashalfmarathon for this wonderful event. Thank you, Tammy for running beside me, encouraging me, drip-feeding me Clif Shots, and loving me along this trip of ours. And THANK YOU, Dad, for that extra little push at the end. I can hear your voice now saying, "C'mon Son, you've got this!"

Cheers to all the runners!

#itellstories

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The Power of Giving

In these past few weeks, as I've been writing about The Power of Your Imagination, The Power of The Subconscious, The Power of Thought. When starting to think about writing today's blog post, I kept thinking about The Power of Giving.

It really came alive to me when watching CBS This Morning this week. Oscar-winner Matt Damon and Gary White, a water expert and engineer who created the WaterCredit initiative (and another "Carolina boy"), are on a mission to bring clean water to everyone worldwide. The duo co-founded Water.org in 2009 to help the more than 660 million people who lack access to safe water. It was a powerful story, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. PS: I was super impressed to see a "Hollywood Star" use that star power to work toward good; something really good.

Watch this YouTube video to hear Matt share his passion for helping those in need:

That got me to thinking about the many ways in which we can give.

Yes, we can donate to terrific causes such as Water.org. And we really should. As Matt said on CBS This Morning, Americans take it for granted, as water is around us everywhere!

But we can also donate to the National Kidney Foundation; a program close to my heart because of my nephew Adam's battle with kidney complications. You can give to The United Way, a program my father gave a good many years of his life to supporting. You can certainly give to your local churches -- no matter the affiliation, because -

IT'S BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE

You've certainly familiar with that bible verse, from Acts 20:35. And no matter the translation, it pretty much all means the same. That led me to think:

When's the last time you GAVE something away for the mere PLEASURE of doing so? You did it "just because." Didn't it feel good? 

Did you happen to notice the more you did it, the better it felt? And perhaps the more you found yourself wanting to do it?

Giving has a universal power of exponential increase

If you're a fan of The Law Of Attraction, as am I, then you know it states whatever you give consistent thought to, you will create. The Universe is attraction-based, and the best thing to realize is you will get back exactly what you give your greatest amount of thought to.

Which led me to ponder this: 

 

WHAT IF WE GAVE AWAY AS THOUGH WE WOULD NEVER RUN OUT

WHAT IF WE GAVE AWAY KNOWING IT WOULD COME BACK 10-FOLD

 

If we all have the power to create all that we can dream (LOA), and there is an endless supply of everything (which I secretly believe there is), then what if we dreamt it all up and gave it all away?

Having grown up a PK (preacher's kid), you know I've spent most my entire life hearing, reading and learning about the bible. Now that I'm about halfway through my life, I've made it a point to study what other faiths/religions/belief systems have to say about Giving.  Check this out:

In the teachings of Christ,

He was adamant about giving to others. And while there are any number of verses in the Bible about giving, here are just a few:

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  -2 Corinthians 9:7

A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.   -Proverbs 18:16
Give and it shall be given to you; for with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. -Luke 6:38
Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Luke 6:30 (NIV)

How about for Buddhists?

The first training the Buddha gave for everyone was the practice of giving. To practice generosity is the most basic way to experience freedom. Happiness and inner calm grow when are fed by generous acts. While reading Buddha's Advice to Laypeople, I came upon this about generosity. In Pali, the language of the earliest Buddhist texts, the word for giving is “dāna.” The word for generosity, the underlying spirit of giving, is “cāga" which also means “letting go.” It is this letting go activity that helps to weaken and reverse painful attachments and longings.

And how is a person of integrity in the way he gives a gift? There is the case where a person of integrity gives a gift attentively, with his own hand, respectfully, not as if throwing it away, with the view that something will come of it. -(MN 110.23 tr. Thanissaro Bhikkhu)

What does Jewish Philanthropy say about giving?

The concept is called Tzedakah, or Charity. And it is the responsibility to give aid, assistance and money to the poor & needy, or to worthwhile causes. Tzedakah means being good stewards of and planning to give a portion of one's personal substance for the common good. Although it is related to charity, the translation is broader than the definition of charity. Charity suggests benevolence and generosity, an act of the powerful and wealthy for the benefit of the poor and needy. Tzedakah is derived from the Hebrew language and means righteousness, fairness or justice. In Judaism, giving to the poor is not viewed as a generous act; it's an act of justice, the performance of a duty, or the right thing to do.


How do the Muslims view giving?

It is absolutely central to the Muslim identity to feel care and compassion for one’s fellow human beings. If a Muslim feels the pain of his or her fellow human being, and wishes the same comfort and good life for others which he wishes for himself, it's a natural reaction to give in charity, to ease this suffering. In the Qur’an, Allah describes those who prevent the supporting of orphans and the feeding of the poor as

“Those who reject the faith” (107:1-3), while emphasizing charity should be given in “prosperity or adversity” (3:134), without fear for one’s wealth, and having faith that a sincere act of giving can only bring abundant reward to the giver.

Personally, I it doesn't matter your faith or belief system. I suppose what matters most is that you believe something. Also, it doesn't matter what you give, or how much you give, but that you give something. It can be money, talents, food, water, smiles, hugs, compassion, or simply your time.

A Universal Law states:  

So, I say, SOW A LOT (like more than 10%) and just maybe (read: quite likely) you will REAP A LOT.  Kind of a no-brainer, if you ask me.

My GIVING RECIPE for the rest of your week:

  • Be Happy
  • Give Something To Someone
  • Give Willingly + With No Expectations
  • See What Happens!

#itellstories

 

The Power of Your Imagination

Your Imagination Attracts All Cooperative Relationships. 

You have the power to evoke from others the relationships you desire. But you cannot get to a new-and-improved situation by giving your attention to the current situation.

The Universe, and all physical and non-physical players in it, is responding to the vibrations you are offering; and there is no distinction made between the Vibrations you offer as you observe, and the Vibrations you offer as you imagine.

If you will simply imagine your life as you want it to be, all cooperative components will be summoned. And even more importantly, all components that are summoned will cooperate. It is Law.

The experience you have with others is about what you evoke from them.     -Abraham


It has taken me far too long to fully realize and appreciate this truth: That We Are In Control Of All The Relationships We Bring Into Our Lives.

And if you don't believe that, then perhaps you're either (a) Not paying attention, (b) Not giving yourself enough credit, or (c) Not Awake.

Yet.

I've spent the last several months "percolating" upon what has shifted in my life over the past year and a half; besides moving to New York, merging my life with someone else, writing another (6th) novel, then moving to Hermosa Beach, and finally to the San Diego area. 

And I've come to this conclusion: a large percentage of what happens to us is created directly by our thoughts, intentions and actions.

Perhaps 100%. 

And while you could debate me, which I would enthusiastically embrace, I believe by the end of the discussion, we would come to an agreement.

Think about it.

You want to get into shape. So, you begin eating differently. You exercise more. You do less of that which thwarts your forward progress. And before you know it, you're in better shape.

You want to have more money. So, you begin watching where every dollar goes. You save more. You spend less. And before you know it, you've got more money in your bank.

And so it goes.

The next time you find yourself wanting, wishing, hoping and longing for something, or someone to enter your life, put the POWER OF YOUR IMAGINATION to work.

How?

First: See that thing happening.

Second: Feel that thing happening.

Third: Hold that Intention for it to happen.

Fourth: Continue that intention until such arrives.

Conclusion: If it doesn't appear, your imagination quite likely either lost its focus, you didn't want it badly (strongly) enough, or perhaps it came ... and went ... without your noticing.

Just a thought.

And a powerful one, at that.

Question: As you saw yourself forming that wish, or intention, how did it FEEL to you? Did you FEEL yourself already having it? Did it make you FEEL alive? Did you FEEL excited at the mere thought of that thing (or person) coming into your existence?

If it FELT GOOD, I would dare say you're more than 50% there. 

Want to make it 100%? Keep FEELING that thing, wish, person, goal ... Coming to life!

In our next discussion on The Power Of Your Imagination, we can discuss: Vision Boards, Prayers, Mediation, Intention, Uniting your wishes with others who share your vision, and much more.

Until then,

Imagine The Life Exactly As You Wish It To Be...

And Watch It Come True. 

#itellstories

The Power of the Subconscious Mind

Last week, I wrote about The Power of Thought, and today I'm writing about The Power of the Subconscious Mind, you will see that while they share many elements, they can also be different on many levels. The power of our minds, especially our SUBCONSCIOUS minds, can take us to levels we didn't know were possible.

Tammy and I were talking the other day about what was it like to have a number of different "characters" in a story talking to me at any given time. I think she was referencing the novel I'm working on, Seduction At Daybreak. I said, "I don't know. I guess my subconscious is working out the details while I'm asleep." She also knows I "work out details" while I walk Dexter during either our morning or afternoon walks.

This got me thinking about what goes on when I'm not "consciously working things out," whether that's my creative side, or my analytical side. Furthermore, I began examining what and how thoughts got developed, both during the day and the night.

More importantly, and given I'm such a "positive mindset" kind of guy, I began examining what and how I was crafting my present and future with the power of my thoughts. That was when todays blog began bubbling to the top.


Here is the research I began uncovering, while investigating The Power of the Subconscious Mind.

Dr. Joseph Murphy in The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, is quoted as saying...

What is impressed in the subconscious is expressed. 

Murphy spent years of research studying the world's major religions, during which he became convinced some great Power lay behind all spiritual life, and that this power is within each of us. His belief was in order to form a new habit, you must be convinced it's desirable. When your desire to give up the bad habit is greater than your desire to continue, you're 51% healed!

He is also one of the first believers of The Law of Attraction. In fact, he says:

The Law of Attraction attracts to you everything you need, according to the nature of your thought life. Your environment and financial condition are the perfect reflection of your habitual thinking.                -Dr. Joseph Murphy
 

THOUGHTS RULE  THE WORLD

 

With an academic background in Eastern Religion, he spent years in India, was an Andhra Research Fellow (University of India), and a scholar of the I-Ching, an ancient divination text that inspired worlds of religion, psychoanalysis, business, literature and art. He understood the power of the subconscious mind. He knew the power of thought. And he lived his message.

All of us have our own inner fears, beliefs and opinions. These inner assumptions rule and govern our lives. A suggestion has no power in and of itself; it's power arises from the fact you accept it mentally.

As Minister-Director of the Church of Divine Science in Los Angeles for 28 years, Murphy was influenced by Ernest Holmes and Emmet Fox, both writers on New Thought principles.

Ernest Holmes, in The Open Mind, said,

"We know things are not always what they seem. The earth and the sky do not meet; the horizon is simply the limitation of our vision, but not a thing of itself. We know a two-dimensional mind looking at a cube would not see the cube; to it, the cube would look flat.

He put [the power of positive thinking] into practice to his practitioners by sharing the following:

Emmet Fox, in his book THE MENTAL EQUIVALENT, wrote: 

The key to life is to build in the mental equivalents of what you want and to expunge the equivalents of what you do not want. How you do it is to build in the mental equivalents by thinking quietly, constantly, and persistently of the kind of thing you want.

Fox continues by saying:

Whatever enters into your life is but the material expression of some belief in your own mind. The kind of body you have, the kind of home you have, the kind of work you do, the kind of people you meet, are all conditioned by and correspond to the MENTAL CONCEPTS you hold.

One of my favorite speakers, and one of the thought-leaders in what I refer to as the  "positive mind connection," especially as it relates to the Power of Attraction, is Bob Proctor. I first discovered him when I saw the film, The Secreta powerful "documentary" about the mind.

Proctor has been instrumental in opening my eyes to the power of our mind, particularly the Subconscious Mind. One of my favorite quotes, and one he is famous for saying is: 

Dr. Proctor's latest focus is about PARADIGM SHIFTS. In fact, he will be in Los Angeles in May to present for several days. I hope to attend. Many of us agree that he's one of the pioneers of the Prosperity & Success movement. We also agree that his message is one everyone can integrate into their everyday thinking. Watch this trailer for his upcoming event. 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention a personal hero, and one of the people responsible for my journey of enlightenment. The late Dr. Wayne Dyer is a true gem, as many of you know, either from his books, or from the many PBS specials on which he appeared. For those of you who are not familiar with him, watch this video on Mastering the Art of Manifesting. 

I have been fixated upon the power of the subconscious mind for years; mainly, because I believe we could have ... and would have ... so much more, if we simply Got Out Of Our Own Way! 

If we took an extra 15 minutes. Wait, make that 5 minutes. No, make that 60 seconds! If we would take 60 seconds and change that inner voice from "If I could only..." to "I choose to only..." we would have so much more of what we are meant to have. We could DO so much MORE of what we WANT to do. We could BE SO MUCH MORE of what we saw ourselves BEING; that is, IF we would simply allow the Power Of The Subconscious to be More Conscious.

Try something on for size. The practice has been suggested by oodles of practitioners from a wide variety of practices from scientific and religious, to therapeutic and analytic. Dr. Wayne Dyer talks about it in THIS VIDEO about The 5 minutes before you sleep.

It will test (and prove) the Mighty Power of what your mind can achieve when you CLEARLY and CONCISELY choose to FOCUS and QUANTIFY exactly what you DESIRE.

    Your subconscious mind is more comfortable when you are in a sleep state. As we all know, when we are awake, our minds are busy at work. But when we are asleep, we're in a state of repair, relaxation & rejuvenation. Our bodies are repairing that which we wore out during the day. Our mind & bodies are relaxing; allowing the stress and harm of the day to dissipate. And our mind & body is being rejuvenated during sleep, so that upon awaking, we will be refreshed.

    Tonight, before you go to sleep, spend JUST 5 MINUTES doing this SIMPLE EXERCISE:

    1. Get into bed, take 3 deep & relaxing breaths,
    2. Quiet your mind, without focusing on anything except all that is GOOD, and
    3. Focus on the things you WANT - not the things you don't want,
    4. Focus on what makes you FEEL GOOD - not what makes you feel bad.

    Take those 5 minutes to prepare your mind to "marinate" on the tasty dreams, achievements, goals, and even material things that you WANT in your life; ONLY those things which are GOOD. Given your mind will be marinating for the next 7 or 8 hours on ideas & dreams, you want your mind to be working on a result that is tasty & positive, upon waking. 

    Our powerful subconscious minds are impersonal, and can't tell the difference between what is good or bad; therefore, it will only choose to align with what you are focusing upon.

    Need some suggestions? Tell your subconscious mind a short list of Dr. Dyer's "I AM's,":

    • I AM well,

    • I AM smart,

    • I AM healthy,

    • I AM wealthy,

    • I AM powerful,

    • I AM content,

    • I AM grateful. 

    Remember: Go into that pre-sleep state with these thoughts, even if your senses are saying it isn't true. Let go of all of that "reality." Now, when you awake, you will FEEL the difference. You will BE the difference you wish for.

    I leave you with another favorite quote from Bob Proctor.

    Your life begins with what is in your imagination.

    You are a creator. Go create!

    #itellstories

    The Power of Thought

    THAT WHICH YOU FOCUS UPON AMPLIFIES.

    ENERGY FLOWS WHERE MY ATTENTION GOES.

    WHAT A MAN THINKS (IN HIS HEART) HE BECOMES.

    These are all variations on the same theme of THE POWER OF THOUGHT. This is something you already know, but perhaps don't spend much time thinking about. But you should.

    WHY?

    WHAT YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS.

    Because if you're going to give your mind and attention to something, some one, some matter, some thought, some wish, some hope, some dream ... you might as well form that thought as a positive one.

    Makes sense, right?

    Whether it's The Bible, The Buddha, Angelou, Abraham, Oprah, or Jimmy Crackcorn, I don't care ... This One Universal Truth Applies: 

    THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT SOMETHING THE MORE SOMETHING YOU GET 

    Have you ever noticed that when you're thinking about getting a new car; perhaps it's a red car, all the sudden you begin noticing that car, and that color of car, everywhere you go? 

    UNIVERSAL LAW: LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE.

    Ever notice when you're flush with cash, almost suddenly it seems you have all you need; perhaps even, you find more money coming your way.

    Conversely, when you're "down and out" or "stuck in a negative rut" it appears you just keep getting more of the same.

    It's because you allow the power of your thought to pull more of (fill-in-the-blank) to you.

    Why are our, as some call it "monkey minds," so trained to think about the negative? Why do many of us immediately shift to the "Oh shit, this isn't gonna be good," or "Why does this always have to happen," or "This just sucks, every time."

    Why not: "I'm so grateful to be here right now," and "My health is so good, and I feel so good," and "Everything is going my way!" 

    Doesn't that FEEL better? And isn't FEELING a good deal of the equation?

    WHATEVER YOU GIVE YOUR ATTENTION GROWS IN DEPTH & BREADTH.

    Have you ever stopped to think that if you wanted more goodness and more money and better health and better relationships ... then it makes sense to focus on those things?

    Ever notice the rich get richer, while the poor get poorer? Why do you suppose that is? Because they've trained their minds to bring them more of the Good Stuff!

    I choose to think that people with negative attitudes keep getting the worst hand dealt to them.

    Why?

    Because they never seem to tire of complaining, nor do they set that same negative pattern into motion each ... and every ... time.

    Whether or not you believe in The New Testament, The Holy Quran, The Shreemad Bhagavad Gita, The Tripitakas, The Guru Granth Sahib, The Kitab Aqdas, The Book of Rites, The Agamas, Kohiki, The Torah or Talmud, or the Law of Attraction, they ALL pretty much say the SAME thing:

    WHAT YOU FOCUS ON GROWS

    So, my challenge to you is: If you're going to expend the mental energy anyway, Expend Upon Positivity!

    I've quoted my friend, Don Campbell, before when he shared a quote on his Instagram that says:

    You'll eventually end up with income, net worth & attitude that matches the flock you hang with.

    Furthermore, I challenge you to consider this slight addition:

    You'll always end up with the life, which includes all the money, things, relationships & health, that you desire, so be POSITIVE about it, choosing the GOOD in all of it, then sit back and ENJOY all that goodness which creates more of the same ... by mere thought.

    While some may skim this with skepticism, I would kindly suggest a shift in thought. Slather, even drown those thoughts with some "Happy Sauce" and see what happens.

    A PERSONAL STORY ABOUT THE POWER OF THOUGHT:

    I can tell you firsthand that THOUGHT is indeed a real and visceral power. Not that long ago (less than 2 years), I was in a relationship that wasn't good (it felt bad), in a city that I had outgrown (it felt small), while trying to create work that wasn't meshing (it felt incongruent), and simply through CHANGING MY ENVIRONMENT (home), SHIFTING MY EMOTIONS (relationship), and ALTERING MY ENERGY (businesses), I created an entirely new world.

    Now, I am living EXACTLY where I SAW and FELT myself living [Southern California], I am living in a BALANCED & LOVING RELATIONSHIP [Tammy] and I am expanding my PROFESSIONAL ENERGIES [business], thus creating THE LIFE I HAVE DREAMT OF.

    In closing, I leave you with several great minds. Ponder their words.











    Your MIND is so powerful; it's full of such potential. Your DREAMS are so close; their achievement is within reach. Your THOUGHTS create your reality; they simply require your focus.

    Cheers to powerful thinking!

    #itellstories

    Get In Touch With Your Creative Spark

    It's Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 in the afternoon. While my "last hometown of New York City" fights bitter cold and stacking snow, I'm enjoying weather that's much different. And ONLY BECAUSE Tammy never heard me on the radio, but longs to hear what it used to be like, I'm including a tiny sample of a Time Check. 

    Yes, it's sunny, with zero chance of rain in Encinitas. Snow? Less than zero; the temp, not the book.

    Speaking of which, it was 32 years ago that Bret Easton Ellis wrote LESS THAN ZERO; a book that USA Today called, "Catcher in the Rye for the MTV generation."

    Was it cool? Yes. Mesmerizing? You bet. Some have said that it "defined a new genre of fiction writing." While I enjoyed the movie, introducing me to an actor that DEVOURED the screen: Robert Downey, Jr., I still believe the book was better.  But then, isn't that nearly always the case? 

    Well, except in the case of my latest film, CHASING GRACE; that film was 99% better than the book DISCOVERING GRACE.

    Yet, I digress.

    Perhaps, I should rename this blog entry: TAMELESS TUESDAY.

    I'm sitting in what Tam & I affectionately call my treehouse. Why? Because it's on the 3rd floor, looks out over the tops of 80-year old palm trees, and glances west toward the blue pacific. There's a breeze blowing in the windows from three different sides.

    My writing space (and video editing space, and voiceover space, and meditating space, and disappear-to-stare-at-the-ocean space) is smaller than your bedroom. Heck, it's about the size of a good walk-in closet (but with a slanted roof).

    It's simply adorned with mid-century furniture, a worn Pottery Barn carpet and an old tower, a new laptop and several stacks of books (my novels and other books about writing). The most eye-catching accoutrement is a long arm of clear bubble wrap adorning the lowest edge of the ceiling; thus helping to prevent yet another SMACK to my head.

    By now, I realize this post is becoming more random by the minute. Frankly, I like it. And if you're still reading, then perhaps you do, too.

    Today, I've been digesting material from James Frey's book HOW TO WRITE A DAMN GOOD MYSTERY. It's really good; well-structured, simple to understand, and confirming.  

    Click below to see a list of the chapters.

    If you're a writer, want to be a writer, or dream of one day becoming a writer, please allow me one suggestion:

    DO IT!

    • Don't let anyone tell you that you can't.
    • Don't let anyone tell you you're not any good.
    • Don't let anyone tell you that it's been done before.
    • Don't let anyone tell you it's boring, or no one will read it, or whatever.
    • Don't let anyone tell you that it's impossible to get published.

    Instead:

    • Give yourself permission to write. Write ANYTHING!
    • Give yourself encouragement, knowing YOUR VOICE is different than anyone on the planet.
    • Give yourself time to practice and improve. After all, it takes as much SEAT TIME as anything.
    • Give yourself a timeline; perhaps, you write an hour a day, a day a week, or 15 minutes at a time (whenever that is).
    • Give yourself the knowledge that in this world of self-publishing, you can get your book printed, ebook-ed, or audiobook-ed -- without having an agent!

    My biggest (and best) point is one that will appear in an upcoming book:

    EVERYONE HAS A BOOK IN THEM

    Yes, I said it. And I believe it. You know why? Because...

    EVERYONE HAS A STORY TO TELL

    Trust me. It's true.

    While I continue to craft #seductionatdaybreak - my latest novel, and first foray into the world of mystery writing, I am beginning to observe a number of different ways to orchestrate details in the story. Things like: teasing the audience with potential antagonists ... possible dual-protagonists ... and plausible plots, sub-plots, and sub-sub plots. It's an everyday adventure!

    Okay, I've got to wrap this puppy up. I have some writing to do. Thanks for skipping along on this scattered blog. I hope you can appreciate a good case of non-sequitur.

    Until we exchange again, answer me this:

    If money were no object, and time was a-plenty, and responsibilities were nil, and you had the support of those around you...

    WHAT IS THE BOOK IN YOU?

    Cheers!

    #itellstories

     

    ... and as always, please CLICK the SHARE BUTTON BELOW to share with others!

     

     

    The Power of Silence is Golden

    This morning over coffee, Tammy shared a quote Kathy Winkler had shared with her. It read:

    Don't waste words on people who deserve your silence. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all.

    This struck me as particularly powerful; especially after a recent incident I experienced with a longtime friend and client.

    I began this blog with the intent of sharing those details. And yet now, after writing and rewriting this post several times, I'm choosing to instead keep those words to myself.

    For in these moments of reflection, I've "worked it out" and feel silence is the better answer...

     

    So, instead, I'll allow those wiser than I to share their thoughts...

     

    But don't take my silence for ignorance, passivity, or cowardice; I'm simply choosing to respond differently, to send a different message.

     
    Martin-Luther-King-Jr.jpg

    And with this I close:

    Maybe these hashtags best share my thoughts: #listenbeforeyouspeak and when you're in a place of indecision, #considersilence realizing that your words may do more damage than good, 

    Peace out & Happy Monday!

    #itellstories

     

    We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.”  -Epictetus

    Get Outside Your Head

    Today, I felt like I went back in time, as I went to a local public library in my neighborhood. I know, you must be thinking, Wow, Dave, that's amazing! A REAL library? How'd you do it?

    Riiiight, I get it; BIG news coming from the left coast. But seriously, I don't recall the last time I stepped inside a library. And for a writer, that's pretty freakin' sad. I mean, an entire WORLD is inside 4 walls, and it's FREE!

    SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR LOCATION

    What I love? The hushed whispers of voices sequestered into small groups in corners. People with their noses buried in books, sitting among others at long desks, all hungry for knowledge. While others, young and old, from all cultures, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds, gather in skinny wooden chairs, big overstuffed chairs, or comfortable and inviting couches. The one thing they all seem to share? They're all searching a vast world of information that lies outside themselves. 

     

    SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR CONVERSATION

     

    And often that means doing something completely different, OR, doing the same thing you do [in this case research], by using different methods [library vs. google].

    Now, while this is in NO way ground-breaking, it simply reminded me:  (a) how changing your environment [not sitting in the same office day after day], and/or (b) altering a ritual [exchanging digitally transmitted information with tangible books and collateral], and/or (c) examining different methods or protocols from a different angle [talking to highly-educated librarians vs. a non-living keyboard], can provide a fresh perspective.

    Another point:

    Sometime's you get stuck. Locked. Stifled. Frozen. 

    Sometime's you find yourself getting repetitive. Cliched. Verbose. Boring.

    SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO GET OUTSIDE YOUR HEAD

    I've been working on my latest novel SEDUCTION AT DAYBREAK, since the first of November. Well, truth-be-told, I haven't written for nearly three weeks. I'm not sure why; perhaps it's three different moves to three new homes inside four months? Or, writer's block? Or, the dog ate my homework?

    Nonetheless, it's been going more slowly than my other books. The characters aren't talking to me as loudly as my other books. The environment isn't unfolding as swiftly as my other books. And the story is much more complicated than my other books. Oh, and the dog ate my . . .

    WHY?

    Because I'm not writing a THRILLER, where you KNOW the Protagonist and the Antagonist, at the same time, and right out of the gate.

    WHY?

    Because I'm writing a MYSTERY, where you you know the Protagonist, but you DON'T know the Antagonist right away.

    WHY?

    Because you can't know them both. Otherwise, it wouldn't be a mystery!

    This is good for me. Not only does this story stretch my mental muscles to examine characters from different perspectives, and create worlds much darker in different ways, all the while developing characters who are strongly different than my other books.

    I LIKE AND NEED A GOOD CHALLENGE.

    In the Carter Matheson series of LUCKY STRIKES, BEHIND THE 8 BALL and KNUCKLE DOWN, I already knew that world very well. Carter Matheson was (and remains) the "quintessential every man hero." He's a man's man. He's a ball-breaker. He takes no shit from nobody. Yet, his "soft side" [which you rarely see], reveals a man who, at his core, just wants to help other people. And he wants to be seen for the "good guy" he really is; even IF he's a government-hired assassin. 

    In this new book (and potential series?), my lead character is a WOMAN. She, like Carter, is also a ball-breaker. She's aggressive, loud-mouthed, and a veritable force-to-be-reckoned-with. Yes, she's bold, brash, but she's also beautiful. And the most fun I've had while getting to know her is that she, like most men, can often be found using sex for mere pleasure, with little conscience, and even less thought of the consequences. Personally, I think it's great to see a 21st Century woman live by her own code, while operating in a man's world.

    I think you'll like PAT NORELLI. She's an "every-woman" with battles to fight; both personal and professional. And while Pat spends a bit too much time battling a vice or two, she likewise faces a professional battle with several superiors at the West Los Angeles Homicide Precinct, where she works as a Detective. Pat only goes by Patricia when talking with, or getting scolded by, her parents. Her sidekick, STUART BROWN, also uses her middle name, DARCY, when he wants to make a particular point; which is more often than not. They're a dynamic duo.

    Hmm...could all this talk of Pat and her detective work be making me want to get back to the computer? I think so.

    As I wrap this up, allow me to leave you with this challenge:  

    Stay tuned for SEDUCTION AT DAYBREAK to be released this Summer!

    #itellstories

    Surround Yourself With Forward-Thinking People

    Isn't it great to be around positive, optimistic, kind and forward-thinking people? I mean, who wants to be surrounded with negative, pessimistic, backwards-thinking whiny, little bitches?

    Obvious, I know. Or, is it?

    One of my favorite Instagram posts of late comes from a longtime friend, Don R. Campbell:

    Simple, yes. But super cool. And viscerally memorable.

    My wife-equivalent, Tammy and I spent several days contemplating this quote. The reason we like it is two-fold. First, we wouldn't be at all surprised if those were actually Don & Connie's hens. Secondly, the age-old axiom is true: Birds of a feather flock together.

    Yes, Don's a super-smart dude, who loves living off the land, striking a good real estate deal, and is easily one of the smartest and most optimistic people I know. I mean, after hanging out with him, you just feeeeeel gooooood.

    Don is most known for his insights on Canadian Real Estate, Business, Economics and Life. And to be completely descriptive, thanks to solid info on his website, Don is a Canadian-based real estate investor, researcher, author, educator and Founding Partner of the Real Estate Investment Network™ (REIN), and Cutting Edge Research Inc. who, along with his experienced research team, leads the way in providing Canada’s most current real estate investment education programs and economic research materials.

    Mostly? Don is a guy who Gets It. And Gets It Good.

    You will eventually end up with income, net worth and attitude that matches the flock you hang out with.

    So, CHOOSE WISELY, he says. 

    Don called me this past Wednesday to get caught up on life; something we don't do nearly enough. I'm going to change that paradigm because I realize, as I've shared with Tammy, "I just feel better about life when I've talked to Don." We spent about thirty minutes talking about farming, music, his wife's birthday party (Tam & I are so sad we're missing), along with some pop-philosophy, pseudo-psychology, and pontificated voraciously on (a) his being "Superman," (b) my suffering vertigo (for nearly a month), and (c) what we can do together in the future to create super-cool video stuff for his farm. See? Just good old forward-thinking STUFF.

    How does Don do it? What's his secret sauce? How did he "figure it out?"

    Something tells me Don has always known that, besides being acutely aware of the flock with whom one gathers, it's best to be FORWARD THINKING. And THAT is one of the reasons I love this man. He's a Forward Thinker. He doesn't concentrate on the past. He doesn't look over his shoulder at his failures. He doesn't cry over the spilt milk of yesteryear. Inside voice: Did I really just say that? Sounds like something my grandmother would say. But you get my meaning, right? That's how I choose to live my life: Looking ahead, not behind.

    In Luke 9:62, it reads: 

    But Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is good enough [fit] for the kingdom of God.

    Now, while I grew up a God-fearing man, attending Church every Sunday morning, night and occasional Wednesday nights, I doubt very seriously, that you (taking this literally) won't get into heaven if you're a farmer and look over your shoulder while tilling the soil. 

    Okay, so you're not a farmer. But if you've ever just MOWED a yard, you'll catch my drift. You know what I'm saying. You're out mowing perfect lines, when you look over your shoulder to see the progress that's behind you (is that an oxymoron?), and guess what; as you turn around, you've done funked it up, creating a wobbly line. Okay. Moving on. 

    I find myself being drawn to people who start their day seeing the glass half full. They've learned that you can't spend your life wondering "What If?"

    This is the lesson Tammy and I have learned:

    Your challenge should be to constantly Tweak, Refine & Redefine what makes "Living A Life By Design" the life you want to live.

    It's not that hard. But you must concentrate. It's not that challenging. But you must stay the course. It's not that daunting. But you must focus.

    My challenge to you today is to FIND THE PILLARS upon which you want to build your present and your future. Hang your hat with them. Surround yourself with those type of people. Be sure they are welcome in your world. Be sure to drip-feed (Tam's word) your life with constantly-growing, ever-evolving, always-challenging people who want to make seismic shifts in their realities. And those realities will be with you through the years...and alongside the group with whom you associate.

    ASK YOURSELF: WHERE DO I WANT TO BE IN 10 YEARS?

    Then, be sure you're making the strategic steps to see that come to fruition. Rid yourself of the "energy vampires" who steal your physical and psychic energy. Pass on the people who enjoy complaining more drama and creating less forward momentum. Look for the UP-LIFTERS and turn your back to the DOWN-PULLERS. Say Goodbye to people who don't see the best in you and encourage the same.

    I LOVE the quote the late Wayne Dyer cherished in several of his books. It's so powerful in its simplicity.

    Today, while clearing your path to be in the space of love, integrity and forward momentum, show your authentic self; people will be drawn to it. 

    #itellstories

    Integrity Is A Lost Art

    I am drawn to people who base their lives upon integrity; it seems to have become a lost art.

    There are many people who will tell you their lives are built upon integrity; others, will pontificate about the ways in which they lead their lives or businesses based on a foundation of integrity.

    Merriam-Webster says the following:

    INCORRUPTIBILITY.  Imagine if our government and city leaders held themselves to a level of integrity, whereby they were "incapable of corruption," or "not subject to decay," or, "incapable of being morally corrupted." What a different place this world would be.

    SOUNDNESS:  Imagine if our brokers, bankers & bellowing politicians were "free from error, fallacy, or misapprehension," and were "legally & logically valid, exhibiting knowledge and experience." What a refreshing voice they would have, and one we would listen to.

    COMPLETENESS: Imagine if our friends & family and neighbors & naysayers were "coming from a place of wholeness, honesty and integrity." What a sense of calm that would provide.

    And yet, day after day and year after year, people walk through their lives with a false sense of integrity, lying through shifting eyes, telling half-truths via twitching lips, and re-directing inquiries only to confuse and disorient, all the while spinning facts, both real and artificial, trying with all their might to make them stick, forming a pseudo-reality, with the hopes of getting their way.

    Wouldn't it be easier to simply come from a place of truth, from the beginning? Remember a time when you would say, or hear someone say,

    "C'mon, just blurt it out; it's better to hear the truth and be hurt then suffer the pain of false hope."

    Maybe I'm writing out loud about my former dating life. But, it's true.

    WHY THE TOPIC OF INTEGRITY?

    Perhaps it's coming from watching President Trump last night. His "State of the Union meets Speaking to Congress" Speech was at one moment encouraging and thought-provoking, while at another, oddly charming, somewhat inspiring, and yet much-too-smooth.

    My biggest reason for sounded like a Negative Nancy is only because Trump pulled a complete 180 from his campaign speeches; so much so I nearly got whiplash trying to decipher who the man was in the pulpit, I mean, podium, preaching about, I mean, pontificating about all that he's done in "the shortest amount of time in office of any President in the history of the world."

    Okay, I'm a bitch.

    Don't get me wrong; I want to like our President, I wish great things from our President, and I plan to support our President. However, after suffering his daily, often mindless, and somewhat childlike bickering [primarily via Twitter], I hope you won't hold it against me if I'm more than just a wee bit skeptical about the integrity upon which he is basing both his presidency, and the validity of his mission at hand.

    Do I want (much of) what he's selling? Yes. Do I believe his mind (and heart) is in the right place? Uh. Hm. Well, let me get back to you on that.

    What I DO know and CAN say with definitiveness and specificity is this: We MUST support, to the best of our ability those whom we have elected into office -- until said time it either becomes dangerous to do so, leads millions of people toward a place that will harm/burn/mislead them, or act in ways that are ANTI-American.

    Enough soapbox. I began discussing integrity, because I HOPE, want, and NEED to see MORE of it on a DAILY basis EVERY day! 

    I believe we need to act in ways that "adhere to a code of moral values" whereby nearly everyone wins, almost everyone gets most of what they need, and everyone is respected for who they are.

    In closing:

    Don't hustle. Don't misrepresent. Don't steal. Don't compromise. And don't lie.

    DO come from peace. DO act with honor. DO support the majority of the collective good. DO the best you can. And DO so with INTEGRITY.

    Cheers!

    #itellstories

     FTR (for the record): I liked and admired President Trump's speech. And I anxiously await to see how much of it he will carry out to the betterment of the America we love and call home.

     

    What to say when nothing to say

    Do you ever have those days when you're contemplative, but only on the inside; meaning, you're not so sure said contemplation should be shared outside my brain?

    That's me, today.

    I've been thinking a great deal lately about what it means to be present. To be in the moment. To enjoy the right-here-right-now. That's it...

    THE NOW

    Do you ever find yourself just stopping & listening? Or, stopping & watching?

    I did that today; perhaps for the first time in several weeks. My pup, Dexter, was sunbathing on the deck. It was a glorious day, full of sunshine and warm breezes. I decided to stop what I was doing and just listen.

    I closed my eyes. Shut out all thought. And simply LISTENED.

    There a dog barking about a block away. A train blew its horn, far in the distance, several miles away. A scattering of periodic traffic distracted me, just yards away, at my street corner. The sound of a plane passed very high overhead. Birds were chirping in the trees all around me. A bug buzzed by my ear. And then...

    TIME SLOWED

    I slowly began to shut the noises out. It was hard, at first, but the extraneous noises eventually faded, as I tried to listen more intently...in a different way.

    I could hear a slight ringing in my left ear; it's been present, along with some dogged dizziness for about 3 weeks now. I shifted my focus to enjoy the slow ebb and flow of my breathing. Then, I listened for my heart. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. It was an amazing sound.

    I MARVELED AT THE COMPLEXITY OF MY BODY

    And I realized so much was constantly happening simultaneously during that moment, and any given moment on pretty much every single day.

    Think about it. Food is being digested. Red blood cells are being reborn. Oxygen is recirculated throughout my lungs and entire body, without having to even think about it. So many things are happening all at once, and without a single, conscious thought on my part.

    I AM AMAZED

    Whether you believe in God, a Higher Source, The Great Divine, or whatever/whomever you choose to call He/She, I never cease to be amazed at the WONDER of the human body and the CREATOR who gifted it to me.

    I AM GRATEFUL

    As I close, realizing that today's blog wasn't particularly profound (but then, do they have to always be?), I want to challenge you to stop from time to time, for even a scant moment or three, and enjoy, embrace, and

    BE AMAZED AT THE WONDERFUL UNIVERSE LIVING WITHIN YOU. 

    Watch. Listen. Enjoy. Be.

    Cheers!

    #itellstories

     

     

    Happy Valentine's Day to all the lovers

    Whether you see Valentine's Day as a "Hallmark Holiday," a reason to splurge on a romantic interest, or simply a pleasant reminder to tell your sweetheart you love them...

    DO SOMETHING SWEET FOR YOUR VALENTINE!

    Whether you buy them roses, chocolates, a nice bottle of wine or champagne, or something as simple as a card, go ahead and spread the love.

    And for those needing some help crafting a handwritten Valentine's card, consider one of these:

    Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone - we find it with another.  -Thomas Merton

    How about this one:

    We are most alive when we are in love. -John Updike

    Here's one I particularly like:

    When you love someone, all your saved up wishes come out. -Elizabeth Bowen

    As I wish a Happy Valentine's Day to all you lovers out there, I wish this one is for my Tammy:


    I leave you this #twokidsinlovetuesday with a favorite song for lovers everywhere, by the late, great Dean Martin. Now, That's Amore!

    Cheers!

    #itellstories
     

    It's All In Your Hands

    While I know this note is similar to a recent post, here's a great way to begin (or end) a Monday:

    You are the only one who creates in your experience—no one else. Everything that comes to you comes by the power of your thought. If there are changes you would like to make, it will be of great value to begin telling a different story—not only about your body, but about all subjects that have been troubling to you. As you begin to positively focus, getting to feel so good about so many subjects, you will begin to feel the power that creates worlds flowing through you.  -Abraham

    The meaning behind this message has become so powerful to me, of late; even more profoundly, about a year-and-a-half ago, when I was leaving an "ill-fit relationship." While some would say I was "blinded by love," I prefer to say I was "distracted by indecision."

    Not to be mean, but I learned (nearly too late) that you HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOUR GUT. If you don't listen to that "sixth sense," "inner voice," or "gut instinct," then you are in for a world of hurt. And if you're anything like me, sometimes you have to learn things the hard way...which ain't the best (or enjoyable, or comfortable) way.

    Note to self: If you begin developing physical maladies (rashes, hives, deep heartburn, three-day headaches) and you're NOT drinking too much, or eating "off the ranch" then you're likely forcing something that just don't fit. Trust me, your body is pretty dang smart; just listen.

    Back to the quote:

    YOUR experience is YOURS. Whatever YOU create comes about by YOUR mind. If YOU want to make changes in your life, YOU have to make those calls. 

    DON'T LIKE YOUR CURRENT STORY? WRITE A NEW ONE!

    It seems I've always had to learn the hard way; just ask my parents. I can see them shaking their heads now, saying, "Son, there's an easier way to learn that lesson." To which I'd reply, "Yeah, but it feels good, or looks good, or tastes good, or whatever...until it bitch-slapped me in the face.

    My friend, Kelly Rehborg, is a Feng Shui expert, and she had the front & center seat to my transformation. You can call it spiritual, mental, or enlightened transformation, but it was all that.

    I approached her for some guidance in creating a new life. She agreed, came to my home and rolled up her sleeves, ready for a real transformation. We emptied my home, cleaned it of dust, clutter and "ill energy." We then refilled the home with just what I needed, positioning the items thoughtfully in order to provide the best energy flow, and blessed my live/work space with good, positive, and energetic love. It's funny, everyone who came to visit, felt the difference instantly.

    Not long after, I started feeling better (less cloudy), began getting increased business (more money), and found the love of my life (best part of all). It's amazing when you GET CLEAR.

    I believe if your mind and heart and actions and beliefs and focus are all in the right place...

    You can have it all!

    I have a long list of friends who can vouch for this; they've lived life their way, focused on things that they wanted, and found this to be true. Right, Kelly, Tammy, Don? (to name only a few).

    So, as you venture out into this (relatively) new month, focus on exactly what you want. See it. Feel it. It's all in your hands. Cheers!

    #itellstories