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

It's all you baby

You have sole ownership of your vision. And the Universe will give you what you want within your vision. What happens with most people is that they muddy their vision with "reality". Their vision becomes full of not only what they want but what everybody else thinks about what they want, too. Your work is to clarify and purify your vision so that the vibration that you are offering can then be answered.   -Abraham

The older I get, the more I think this way, manage my life this way, believe this way, and more importantly feel this way. It's true:

YOU OWN YOUR VISION

Not your father, your mother, your sister, or your brother. Not your spouse, your best friend, or your enemies. It's up to you.

life.png

I ran across this picture recently and the quote summed it up handsomely.

Often, things, situations or people get in the way of our progress. You know what I'm talking about.

A bad habit could be the thing.

An ill-fitting job could be the thing, or

A misaligned relationship could be the thing.

Either way, something seems to keep you from excelling at your highest & best. Time to stop.

 

As you begin a new week, I am challenging you to consider doing something. You can call it:

  • disrupting the chaos,
  • cutting the chords,
  • severing ill alliances, or
  • simply shutting off the noise.

Just know that it's up to you, kid.

Happy Monday!

#itellstories

A Day To Remember

Epic Day. Not the norm. Out of the ordinary. Like none other. Historical. History in the making.

All of these phrases pretty much describe today, where we celebrate our Inauguration 2017.

Swearing in Donald J. Trump as 45th President of the United States is a day of mixed emotions.

One of my dearest friends called me phone today, leaving a message. She was literally crying and completely out of sorts. She had a phrase that has caused me to chuckle all day. She said, 

It's like someone told me to drink the water from the toilet, explaining, 'Oh, it's okay, we scrubbed it really good and it's all clean, but you go ahead and drink it. It'll be fine.'

Graphic, huh? She's hilarious.

Whether you voted for Trump, voted for Hillary, or voted (to support) any of the others, HE won. And whether you like it or not, you have one of two choices; make that three:

  1. Bitch. Moan. Complain. And do nothing about it (and get absolutely NO-where),
  2. Suck it up. Be an optimist. And do what you can to make it work, (whatever that may be), 
  3. Stand up. Be strong. And Be The Change You Want To See (a hybrid of the first two).

Find a way to work alongside and/or alter what lies in front of you, in whatever way possible, and with whatever resources you may have. Who knows, this may work out just fine.

Remember, NO ONE IS PERFECT. No one gets it all right. No one gets it all done. And no one is liked by everybody, all the time.

Don't be a victim. Be a solution.

Yes, it was an epic day. It will be one I will remember for a long time. And while I can't honestly say I walked away with one single "tingle" over his speech--like so many of the great Presidents of our past, he at the very least stayed true to his motto, saying he will:

MAKE AMERICA GREAT (again)

Personally, I think America is already great. I feel it's The Greatest Country In The World. I am proud to be an American. I appreciate our leaders (for the most part), and I work hard to support them in whatever way I feel I can...in the best ways possible.

Do What You Can To Be A Change For Good Wherever You Are.

#itellstories

And Another Thing

Yesterday, I wrote a blog entitled FOLLOW YOUR OWN DREAM, based upon a Steve Jobs quote. Without re-inventing that wheel, and if you're interested, may I suggest your reading it?

An interesting thing happened after I wrote that entry. I was going through some old videos and ran across one I shot nearly two years ago. It was one of those not-so-rare moments when I was capturing a "significant moment" with my iPhone.

I had just gotten off the phone with a business acquaintance who was sharing insight about (coincidently) following his dreams. I, likewise, was sharing some of my thoughts on following our dreams, while sharing with him a situation concerning my film Chasing Grace. 

It wasn't long before when I had gotten word of being picked up recently by a distributor. I shared how hard it was finding a distributor, how grateful I was for having found one; however, during our discussion, and during the whole negotiation process of locking our deal, something just didn't feel right.

Watch this and I'll share more in 3 minutes.

3 minutes of motivation. Learn more: http://davetemple.com (May, 2015)

GOOD INSIGHT:

This story was about wanting to make the very best choice I possibly could by finding the best distributor. After all, my investors deserved the very best opportunity, with the strongest candidate who would provide the best (and quickest) results of returning their investment.

INDIE (Faith-based) FILMMAKERS, NOTE THIS FACT WHEN TRYING TO LOCK A DISTRIBUTOR.

Do not allow a distributor to buy MULTIPLE (like 60, or 70, or 80,000 DVD units) right out of the gate, in order to "get the ball rolling" for your movie sales. 

Why? Because the chances of your small film (read: primarily first-time filmmakers) being able to sell those many units is nearly impossible.

Why? Because (many) distributors make their percentages (commissions) on the purchase of all those DVD's, up front. Oh, and this is whether it goes anywhere at all.

And if the Walmarts, or Targets, or other "faith-based Big Box Stores" don't sell them, YOU have to BUY THEM BACK! And you have to do so at a similar market value that you sold them for AND pay their storage AND handling AND any shipping fees. AND let me tell you...that adds up!

Fortunately, I WENT WITH MY GUT, got out of that deal, and negotiated a better deal with a different distributor. I'll share how that situation has turned out another time.

THE BIGGER POINT HERE IS ABOUT: GOING WITH YOUR GUT

I've always felt that IF you're going to spend your time doing something anyway, and you're going to give it all you've got anyway, and you're going to invest blood/sweat/tears into whatever project you're going to do anyway...then Give It Your All But Go With Your Gut.

Have you ever known your gut to fail you? If so, consider listening more closely next time.

I hope this helps, in even a small way. Until we share again, cheers to going with your gut!

#itellstories

FOLLOW YOUR OWN DREAM

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”      

This is one of my favorite quotes, by the brilliant entrepreneur, designer, builder, content-creator and genius Steven Paul "Steve" Jobs, Apple Founder.

Born 2/24/1955, he lived a full life until cancer took him 10/5/2011, at the young age of 56. 

Shit. 56. The same age my father died.

The same age I feared (for way too long) I would die.

I've never admitted that before; especially not publicly. And while there's no reason to (logically) believe I would die then, I (like my older sister, Kay) felt that If we can just make it to that year, we'll be good. Now, rapidly approaching that landmark, I will have passed it by 2 years.

While I don't have near the accomplishments that marked Steve's illustrious life, I have done a great deal. I've been a Radio Host, a national Voiceover talent, a lounge DJ, a TV anchor, a national correspondent, a features reporter, a QVC Host, a Sales Rep, a Marketing specialist, and a Videographer/Editor.

I am also a published author of six novels and working on my seventh. I am an award-winning filmmaker of a commercial feature, Chasing Grace, and three short films. I'm a media content developer and marketing strategist for a small group of companies, as well as a web designer & developer, which began as a hobby and developed into a small cottage business (I built this site and all the contain herein).

Since beginning a career in broadcasting (at the age of 17), I set as a goal, climbed the ladder and skyrocketed to enormous success in radio. Broadcasting Morning Shows first in my childhood hometown of Lynchburg, VA, I quickly moved to Norfolk, before "getting discovered" and moving to Detroit, then to Chicago, and then to Los Angeles, before hitting the PEAK of my radio career, working in New York, before heading "back home" to Charlotte, NC, where I finished my handsome career alongside my family.

I accomplished ALL the dreams in radio I had ever envisioned: I wanted to work in at least 5 of the Top 10 Radio Markets before I reach 40. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

As a young boy, I recall hearing an announcer on a nationally televised broadcast on Disney, and thought THAT IS WHAT I WANT TO DO. Listening to AM Radio on stations out of Chicago (WLS), I knew given I had a "radio voice" (at a super young age), along with the ability to think fast on my feet, make people laugh, enjoyed music of all flavors and loved to tell stories, Radio Was Going To Be The Profession For Me.

What's the moral of this post?

FOLLOW YOUR OWN DREAM

Steve Jobs was a guy who GOT IT. He marched to the beat of his own drum, chose a profession HE wanted and chased it. He threw caution to the wind, pursued, fought, created and never quit. 

It's the same with you.

YOU CAN HAVE WHATEVER YOU WANT, IF YOU WANT IT ENOUGH.

Jobs was a co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple Inc (the first stock I ever bought). He was majority shareholder in Pixar, member of The Walt Disney Company's board of directors, and Founder, Chairman and CEO of NeXT. He was a husband, father and friend to many.

Did he get all that experience by accident? No. Did he accomplish all that success randomly? No. Did he have it all fall in his lap? No. Was it all smooth sailing? No. He saw, dreamed, pursued, fought, and worked his ass off to make his dreams come true. And while there are some who speculate he "worked himself to death," he certainly finished his life his way. Now, I'm not saying he chose to die from cancer, but I can't help but intuit that he must have known his great success could come at a great cost. 

As I wrap up this Hump Day Inspiration, I leave you with something I read yesterday. It comes from the teachings of Abraham, the collective conscious, not the character from the Bible.

When you are comfortable on your path, it doesn’t matter where it leads.

There's a great deal of truth there. Be comfortable with your path. Follow your dream. Where it leads is YOUR doing. YOU are in control.

Remember, as Steve implored of us: Your time is limited. Don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't live according to other people's thinking. Don't let others' opinions drown your inner voice. Have courage to follow your heart & intuition.

I'll leave you with something I've said to Tammy since the day we met and fell in love: 

Let's run with reckless abandon toward life's diving board and spring into the unknown, trusting there will be enough water to hold and support us.

Cheers!

#itellstories

So what if I'm late to the New Year's Resolution Party

SO WHAT IF I'M LATE TO THE NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION PARTY

Okay, so I didn't jump aboard the "Resolution Bandwagon" when the ball dropped, issuing in 2017. Why? Basically because I've learned it's too much pressure to create completely new habits to start on the first day of the year. It's kinda silly, don't you agree?

What's my solution? I wait until somewhere around the second weekend. And given this weekend is FRIDAY THE 13TH (insert horror movie screams here), it will be my Jumping Off Point.

What are my resolutions? Simple; there are only 3. Because it seems like a number I can manage.

1. Do some SOME SORT OF EXERCISE every day.

I don't mean a marathon every day. But I don't mean one sit-up, either. I mean, something along the lines of No Less Than 15 minutes, likely around 30 minutes, and 45 could be ideal. This way, even if the only thing I do is walk Dexter once or twice a day, then I've accomplished my goal. And the way I see it, as well as Dexter sees it, it's a Win-Win.

2. Be conscious every day to BE KIND toward my fellow man.

That doesn't mean I have to be a pus, a wimp, or a liar. But I do have to consider kindness as my starting point. If we all thought about being kind as our first reaction, we'd have less violence, less deaths, less stress, less anger, less weight gain, less anxiety, we'd rely less on drugs, booze and crap food. At least I think we would. Anyway, I'm going to start here.

3. Do something OUT OF THE ORDINARY every week healthy.

You know, something healthy, positive and/or enjoyable. Something we don't ordinarily do every week, or in the same way. Wouldn't that be cool; to try on a new habit for size? It may be something like: reading an article, periodical, or book I don't ordinarily read, visiting a new restaurant serving a type of food I don't regularly eat, travel to work or play on a different route, just for the heck of it. Maybe I'll call a friend I haven't spoken to in a long time. In these days of texting & emails, it's nice to think about picking up the phone and chatting even for 10 minutes.

BOTTOM LINE: I figure if I can do THESE 3 THINGS for the next 11 & 1/2 months, I'll have a vibrant and refreshing way to look at life.

As Tammy and I face yet another move to a new city [SAN DIEGO, HERE WE COME], we've agreed to form a new mindset, as to: (a) how we choose friends, (b) how we do business, and (c) how we manage situations arising in ways that may or may not be of our creation.

This new mindset came to me, thanks to a blog I read recently by Benjamin Hardy.

“From this point, your strategy is to make everyone else get on your level, you’re not going down to theirs. You’re not competing with anyone else, ever again. They’re going to have to compete with you. From now on, the end result is all that matters.” —Tim Grover

I like that, don't you? Set Your Goals. Make New Boundaries. Push Hard To Win.

As for the NEW YEAR, Tammy and I Are Making Choices As To How [Jobs, Friends, Dates, Projects, Schedules, Parties, Etc.] Best Fits Our Lives.

Moving forward, BE KIND TO YOURSELF, pace the day/week/month with reachable goals that feel attainable, until you get to the point where you say, PUSH YOURSELF, DAMMIT! You'll be fine.

Happy First Friday the 13th of The New Year!

WHAT ARE MONDAYS TO YOU?

To some, Mondays are the start of a new week. To others, it's part of their weekend. To (hopefully) a few, Mondays are a dreaded thing: starting another work week, at a job they don't like. 

To many, like myself, Mondays represent a fresh start; a chance to start over. Think: a New Year's Resolution each week, but without the countdown, ball drop and confetti-littered hangover.

To most of us, I imagine Mondays represent an opportunity to make good, pay bills, serve others, create goodness, manage people, increase sales, defy odds, bring change, and well...begin again.

WHAT ARE MONDAYS TO YOU?

Do you find Monday to be a day to embrace, or fear? Do you welcome it, or despise it?

Have you ever thought that without Mondays we'd never have Monday Morning Blues, and we'd never have the hit single by The Momas & The Papas

Are Mondays MUSIC to your ears, or just noise?

Consider, without Mondays, we'd never have been able to appreciate the Jay & The Americans version of the previous hit single.

Then again, we'd never have so enjoyed The Bangles and their perfectly-coiffed '80's tune.

How about kicking Monday in the ass with The Boomtown Rats?

Or, let's head down to the other end of the musical spectrum with The Carpenters.

If that's too depressing, try New Moon On Monday by on Duran Duran to perk you up.

Ever find yourself dreaming of MONDAY with The Jam? You should.

Monday Will Never Be The Same by Husker Du has a nostalgic sound; albeit one of the shorter versions you'll find, and as is the case with this tune, containing no words.

Perhaps one of my favorite Mondays comes from Wilco.

For my country fans, check out Mark Chesnutt with It Sure Is Monday.

How appropriate, given we just left Sunday. Here are the New Radicals with Crying Like A Church on Monday.  

Billy Bragg gives a folksy tribute to the day with St. Monday.

Have a taste for some unique storytelling? Check out Lee Hazlewood's If It's Monday Morning.

And while some enjoy Mike & Peggy Seeger's folksy version of Every Monday Morning Comes, I like this version from SUEDE (from Sci-Fi Lullabies).

John Prine captured the day in Long Monday; a version I challenge you to hear and not enjoy.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you're having trouble jump-starting your week, listen (loudly) to NOFX's Thank God It's Monday.

How 'bout feelin' some of Jordin Sparks' Permanent Monday? She feels it.

I have one song on my list without "Monday" in the title, as sung by Supertramp: From Now On.  

Tegan & Sarah like Monday, Monday, Monday so much they hammer the point 3 times. 

The Day Will Come Between Sunday & Monday when Kiki Dee will hopefully add a ray of sunlight to the start to your week.

Hey, Parrotheads, how 'bout your boy, Jimmy Buffet with Come Monday! It makes the rainiest & gloomiest day sunny.

The Black Hollies have Gloomy Monday Morning to incite your blues...if you let it.

And who could forget Fleetwood Mac's Monday Morning (sorry, that sounded like a bad DJ intro)

As I end today's blog, I'm gonna head back up to the top of my list and leave you with a classic flashback, and perhaps one of my favorites, from THE JAM.

#HappyMonday

PS: My Monday Morning Music Blog is dedicated to my friend, Don Campbell; a lover of all music.

GOOD DESIGN MAKES FOR GOOD LIVING

I Love Good Architecture, Good Architects, and Good Design. Yep, that just about says it all. And you know what? One of the most wonderful things about GOOD DESIGN is that you KNOW it when you see it. You FEEL it when you see it. And it never FADES.

While working with DWELL Magazine last year, I had the pleasure of meeting some of the hippest, sharpest and funnest (i know it's not an actual word) architects, in San Diego. They include:

Lindsay + Rory Brown, The Brown Studio, Inc.

Lindsay + Rory Brown of The Brown Studio Inc. This husband/wife team are not only uber-talented, but also very gracious. Their everyday generosity exudes in everything they do. Yes, they've become business partners of ours, but they've also become (more importantly) dear friends of ours. Their vision is light-years ahead. Their passion is palpable. Their goals are lofty. Their success is growing. Their insights are legendary. Their stories are engaging. Their children are beautiful. And their friendship is priceless. Check out the video below featuring their hometown of San Diego.

Produced for DWELL Magazine, this promotional video features four San Diego firms: The Brown Studio Inc, Nahkshab Development & Design, Architects Magnus & Steven Lombardi Architect.


Soheil Nahkshab of Nakhshab Development & Design: NDD was another artist we befriended while putting together the DWELL Home Tours, under the direction of Tammy Scott.

Soheil is truly one of those renaissance men you read about. He's an architect, designer, builder, musician, father, husband and all around good guy. His vision is ahead of the curve. His work ethic is unmatched. I personally believe he'll become "One of the Masters of the Next Generation."

The Lahaye Residence, designed by NDD.net


Hector Magnus, Architects Magnus

Hector Magnus, Architects Magnus

Architects Magnus. When you first meet Hector Magnus, you instantly feel as though you've known him for years. His warmth and charm are what first engages you. Then, after seeing his structures, his keen eye for detail, not to mention his whimsical touches in every project, it's easy to become a huge fan. It has turned out to be a "bonus" that we've developed a friendship with he and Pamela.

Both California licensed architects, their practice specializes in livable modern architecture. They believe that regional architecture is defined by place, while clearly aligning with their client’s lifestyle.

Though San Diego is their home base, the firm’s projects and consulting work range throughout the state. Their target market is comprised of individuals who value functional, tactile and sustainable design, and their group includes state-registered architects, designers, consulting engineers, builders, and craftsmen, with access to exclusive materials and furnishings.

Design by Hector Magnus, architectsmagnus.com


The final architect is Steven Lombardi. We love this guy for his dry wit, avant garde approach to design, and genuine Southern California approach to about everything (yes, he's an avid surfer).

Steven has advanced the art of architecture and design in poetic ways across a broad spectrum of disciplines, scales and geographic locations. His explorations include urban landscape, sculpture, theater and energy as "fixture." His multi-disciplinary practice reflects his sustainable approach to design with a fundamental focus on light and its impact emotionally, functionally and sculpturally. 

SUNSET CLIFFS, San Diego, CA - Steven Lombari Architects

Energy Flows Where Attention Goes.

I am a big proponent of the theory and the mindset --

That which you focus upon, you amplify.

I've always called that Quantum Physics, and I've been right, for the most part. Without getting overly technical, or conversely, too "woo-woo," I'll simply say, ENERGY FLOWS WHERE YOUR ATTENTION GOES. Pretty easy to understand, right? 

Allow me to share an example.

I have a friend who is constantly using words, in her everyday chatter, like anxious, difficult, and frustrating. Furthermore, her life is full of melodrama, is overly dramatic, and I find her in a constant state of heightened anxiety. Do you suppose there's any coincidence? I think not.

Posing a challenge to her, I suggested she try to remove not only the words that triggered the feeling she had when discussing matters, but to challenge herself whenever she began to even think about those topics which made her anxious, frustrated, or melodramatic, to STOP and replace that word and/or feeling with something completely opposite.

Guess what happened? Over a period of time (it took longer than she expected), she began to see a major shift in not only her attitude & feelings, but how life around her reacted to her new way of thinking. I'm happy to report her current life is, as she puts it, one of (near) bliss.

This brings me to a quote I read this morning which further echos my beliefs:

You often believe that you must work hard to overcome obstacles and satisfy shortages and solve the problems that are before you; but often, in that attitude or approach, you work against yourself without realizing it. Attention to obstacles makes them bigger and more stubborn; attention to shortages makes them bigger and prolongs them—and attention to a problem prevents any immediate resolution or solution.   -Abraham

Makes sense, doesn't it?

What you focus upon, over and over ... Where you put your energy, over and over ... GROWS.

Now, let's get a bit more scientific for a moment. While becoming more curious, I started researching Quantum Physics and Quantum Mechanics (yes, it involved more coffee), and I was off to the mind-bending races. Here are two prevalent theories about this topic:

The two major interpretations of Quantum Theory's implications for the nature of reality are the Copenhagen Interpretation and the Many-worlds Theory.

Niels Bohr proposed the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum theory, which asserts that a particle is whatever it is measured to be (for example, a wave or a particle), but that it cannot be assumed to have specific properties, or even to exist, until it is measured.

In short, Bohr was saying objective reality does not exist. This translates to a principle called superposition that claims while we do not know what the state of any object is, it is actually in all possible states simultaneously, as long as we don't look to check.

The second interpretation is the Many-worlds (or multiverse theory), which holds that as soon as a potential exists for any object to be in any state, the universe of that object transmutes into a series of parallel universes equal to the number of possible states in which that the object can exist, with each universe containing a unique single possible state of that object. Furthermore, there is a mechanism for interaction between these universes that somehow permits all states to be accessible in some way and for all possible states to be affected in some manner. 

What you focus on expands

Let's ride down the layman's road for a moment.

Have you ever noticed when you're thinking about getting a new car, that car seems to appear everywhere you go? Crazy, right? But think about it from the standpoint that you have chosen to focus upon something with such a pinpoint of thought, that it's bound to show up in your reality.

So, what if we take this fairly simple concept, and put that same focus to work for things such as: love, abundance and wellness? Do you suppose if we wanted more LOVE in our lives, or more ABUNDANCE in our lives, or more WELLNESS in our lives...then more of it will arrive when we FOCUS on having more?

To me, it makes a world of sense. And I've seen it come true time and again. Allow me to share perhaps one of the single most significant examples of this theory, in my life.

Back in 2015, there were several things happening in my life which were not making me happy. In fact, they were making me ill, or more specifically, they were causing my body to dramatically react in ways that said, STOP THIS OR YOU'RE GOING TO BE IN FOR A WORLD OF PAIN.

During this disharmonic (discordant) time, my acid reflux kicked into overdrive. I mean, no volume of antacids could help. Then something I'd never experienced happened. My scalp broke out into something horrible called "plaque psoriasis." Let me tell you, it was H-E-L-L. Imagine your scalp breaking out into...well, look it up; it's pretty f'n horrible.

I went to a dermatologist and he confirmed it. He went on to say it was likely either diet or stress. I then visited a friend who was a naturopathic doctor, and he said it was 100% stress imposed by an outside force in which my subconscious was not in alignment. We discussed what I may have in my life which caused it. We pinpointed the issue immediately, using a variety of methods. 

Guess what? The moment I ceased focusing upon what was creating all my anxiety, acid reflux and scalp agitation, IT STOPPED. (Who knew a personal relationship could cause such havoc?)

Let's end this soliloquy on an upbeat and positively focused note.

Given we have a choice, why not focus on LOVE, WELLNESS and ABUNDANCE? And don't be surprised, given our minds are so trained to think & talk about the problems of the world, that breaking bad habits will be tough. They will. But give it time. Be kind to yourself. And FOCUS UPON & FEEL GOOD ABOUT only those things you really want.

THERE'S SO MUCH GOOD IN OUR LIVES AND IN THE WORLD

Want some fairly easy steps to begin to SHIFT YOUR FOCUS on all the goodness?

  1. If you want wellness, think about and talk about all the things which are working for you, be they physical or otherwise. Call a friend and say, “I'm so happy today. My health is great!”
  2. When you notice "bad" qualities of others, shift your thinking to focus about their "good" qualities instead. Perhaps your friend's negative attitude irks you to no end. Consider stopping any angry thoughts and instead focus on all the good stuff he/she does.
  3. If your bills are piling up, instead of saying to yourself, "There's no money for anything!" Instead, say, “I have enough for the things I need, and there's plenty more to come.”
  4. Perhaps you're not enjoying your job (maybe even hating it). Instead of stating this repeatedly, begin talking about what you love to do. Maybe a new job will arrive!

Every day, as soon as I awake and throughout the day, I focus on the GOOD things in my life: the wonderful love affair with my partner Tammy, my excellent health which gets better every day, my awesome family, my great neighborhood & new friends we're making. And the list goes on.

Have you noticed that I TELL STORIES (#itellstories) is my website byline? My challenge for you today and in the coming New Year is...

START CREATING GOOD ENERGY BY TELLING A GOOD STORY.

Cheers!

Hello, 2017. We've been expecting you.

Last year was full of it. Full of surprises. Full of the s#!t. Full of happiness. Full of sadness. There were deaths; too many of them. There were births; lots of them. There were big upticks, and even bigger downticks. There were times we thought we couldn't take another (--fill in the blank--). But then, there were times we imagined, Is there any way we could have some MORE of this?

We lost some of the greatest and most talented people in our history. But in my own opinion, I think we are on the precipice of welcoming some of the newest, brightest, most exciting faces to come along in decades.

There are going to be some extraordinary new talents revealed to us in the coming days, where I am confident we're going to discover some of the most thought-provoking, motivational, inspirational people we've ever heard about. You just watch.

There is an ocean of talent on the horizon. Some of that talent is going to Discover New Worlds, Cure Old Diseases, and Create New Goals We Didn't Think Possible. We are going to hear and feel and experience so much more!

Will one of the new discoveries be YOU?

I know one of those people will be me. You are going to see, read and enjoy some hidden talents even I don't even know I had. I say that because sometimes, albeit not every day, I uncover a hidden gem inside me I didn't know was there.

That gem has been: (1) A magnificently formed sentence I've never written before; perhaps where I turned a phrase just so, it even surprised me, (2) A new depth of love, like I've experienced with Tammy; something I never dreamed possible, (3) A level of patience with someone, or a situation. And while I've been able to craft some incredible dreams in the past few years (a film, several books, a new life in a new city or two), it's nothing like I'm going to create starting in 2017.

Are You Dreaming Big Enough?

Isn't part of the reason we set goals, create resolutions, initiate daydreams, and seek to be better, smarter, healthier, etc., because we want more, want to improve, want to stretch?

While I'm not super big on resolutions, I will set myself this ONE resolution for 2017. But I'm only going to set it for 30 days. That way, I can carve away at it for 30 days at a time. It releases some of the pressure, gives me something attainable, and provides a bite-sized portion to master.

My one resolution: Enjoy The Now.

Easy right? Not really. Because it takes being Present. Not hoping, wishing, wanting, but just Being. Leaning into the immediate. And to...

Live in the Question.

This is something I've learned from being with Tammy. And it's profound. You know why? In ways, it removes some of the stress, pain and agony of "what will be." Then, you can just "wait and see."

When you allow yourself to Be Okay In The I'm Not So Sure About This, many great things happen. You learn that most of what you think you control, you don't. You observe that most of what you hoped would happen, turns out to be better that it didn't.

Sound to "woo-woo" for you? Well, get over it. Just try it. Heck, do it for just 30 days.

DO THIS: Try, when something comes up and you want to force it, squeeze it, maneuver it, manufacture it, control it; instead, just lean into that space of Hmm...I wonder what'll happen.

You can call it: Whatever, WTF, Who gives a shit, or Che Sara Sara (whatever will be will be).

Anyhow, why don't you and I give this a shot. We can even hold one another accountable. Or not. I'm going to try it. And I'll keep you updated right here in this blog.

Speaking of which, Let's Get Connected in 2017. Subscribe to my newsletter (read: weekly blog) and stop by to read when you get the itch. If you get bored, sign off. If you like, please share.

So, this year, cut yourself slack. Be kind to yourself. See What Happens. Live In The Question.

Enjoy The Now.

Happy New Year!

 

Be Happy With Yourself First

"If you make your relationship with your Inner Being your top priority, and you deliberately choose thoughts that allow your alignment, you will consistently offer the greatest advantage to the others with whom you interact. Only when you are aligned with your Source do you have anything to offer another. If your behavior is influenced by your desire to keep another person happy, you will lose your connection to your Source.* And it is not possible for you to be happy unless you are in alignment with your Source. Without that alignment, you have nothing to offer another. Rather than attempting the impossible task of trying to behave in ways that please others, show them the ease of finding your consistent alignment...with your own happiness."

This is taken from a Daily Meditation from the teachings of Abraham, a resource of inspiration I've enjoyed for several years now.

Some of my friends may find fault with these "teachings," but I don't really care. Why?

I march to the beat of my own drum.

And if that drum is different from theirs; well, that's exactly the point. For more years than I care to count, I have lived in the shadow of "making others happy before myself." And frankly, I'm just sorry it took me 50+ years to fully realize it. Furthermore, beginning in 2017, I'm going to make a concentrated effort to Say Goodbye To Making Others Happy.

Having found someone with whom I'm completely happy, someone who allows (and even appreciates) all that I am, and someone who brings such JOY to my life...well, I can't imagine living any other way. Ever. And I will embrace that love and joy with all that I am!

I encourage you to do likewise. Find Your Personal Joy.

Whether your joy lies in art, commerce, singing, dancing, defending, helping, creating, crafting, dreaming, inventing ... Do It With All Your Might And Focus.

In this coming New Year, Chase Your Dreams With Reckless Abandon.

Don't allow others to: tell you what to do, how to live your life, with whom you choose to align yourself, where to plant your roots, how to manage your education, which call to make, how to channel your inner artist, when to make the next jump, or where that jump will land. 

Go. Your. Own. Way.

IF this sounds like some pseudo-pop-intellectual-mojo-potato-half-baked-psychotherapeutic-mumbo-jumbo ... it isn't. It's my heartbeat. 

There comes a time in everyone's life (or should) when they decide (1) This may be the only life I will live; the only trip on this journey, and (2) I'm going to do everything in my power to make it the best it can be, because (3) I deserve to live the life I desire, and (4) This Is What I Want.

So, my Word Of Encouragement for 2017? Spend these last several hours of 2016 to meditate, simmer, percolate, marinate, ponder, envision, contemplate, and consider:

WHAT CHOICES WILL YOU MAKE FOR THE LIFE YOU DREAM IN 2017?

I will be here to encourage you every step of the way, without judgement, disagreement, hatred, argument, or otherwise. I'm here to simply support in love and with joy.

Get Out There & Live Large. 


*Source: God (He, She, They), Higher Power, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, Allah, Guru, Big Man Upstairs, Her Supreme Being, The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus In The Sky, Whoknowswhat


PS: Care to enjoy this post with some musical inspiration? Click play while reading (or, if you just saw this, click play and read again. Then, PLEASE SHARE if this post inspired you. Thanks!

What would be your "dream gift" under the tree?

Several of us were sitting around the fireplace recently discussing what we'd like for Christmas, when our discussion became less "what would you like" and more "if you could have anything in the world, what would it be?"

That's when the conversation shifted up a notch. I became similar to that discussion that goes, "If you were to win the LOTTERY, what would you do with all that money?" You know that conversation, right?

Invariably, the conversation begins with one of several ideas; among them are: I'd pay off all my and my parents bills...I'd put so-and-so through school...I'd buy a big house, nice car, etc.

This conversation was little different. One person wanted to take an exotic trip to a place we couldn't pronounce, while another wanted to give it all away. 

Anyway, not much heavy here, just a quick thought: What would your dream gift be?

DEVIL WENT DOWN TO GEORGIA

You probably just sang the Charlie Daniels Band song in your head, didn't you? Me too; like every time I went to the set while shooting an episode of Your Worst Nightmare for Investigation Discovery Network. That was the name of the Episode on the TV Series. Shot in Georgia; get it? Go ahead and enjoy the song by clicking the CDB link, if you like.

Playing Detective Frank Shelton (Season 2, Episode 10) was fun for two reasons. First, I always wanted to play a Detective. Why? Because in all my years of acting, I hadn't played this type of character. Secondly, while working on SEDUCTION AT DAYBREAK (#seductionatdaybreak on Instagram), my latest novel, I was confident I'd get a sense of the environment and the physical characterization of a detective, even though it was acting. It proved to be extremely helpful.

I got to thinking, over the past twelve-plus years, I've played a Radio DJ in One Tree Hill on CW Network, a Television Anchor in Army Wives on Lifetime, a money-grubbing philanderer in The Ultimate Gift (feature film), a scum-ball lawyer in The Confession on The Hallmark Channel, a father of two precocious graduating teen daughters in Remember The Daze (feature film), a Television Reporter in Surface on NBC, a former Special Ops Sniper in my film Chasing Grace, and most recently as the detective on ID's Your Worst Nightmare.

None of the roles were too much of a stretch; you can decide which roles you would imagine were "outside my wheelhouse." And since I'm on this tangent...

The acting profession is a funny bird. You attempt to crawl into the mind of a person, living, dead, or from scratch, and create this performance in order to entertain. And in the process, you're either handsomely paid or not, and if you're one of the "Lucky Elite" [fill in famous actor here], you're placed on a pedestal as a "Star" or "Hero" or "Untouchable." To me, that's crazy.

We don't put our mechanics, or school teachers, or police officers in the limelight as "Star, Hero or Untouchable." Well, sometimes we do. And perhaps we should do so more often.

I've had the honor of working alongside some truly stellar actors: James Garner, Moira Kelly, Sherry Stringfield, Bill Cobbs, Lee Meriwether, Abigail Breslin, Drew Fuller, and Brett Rice, to name a few. Brett's most recent role I've enjoyed was his role as Tucker Baggett on Longmire, where he played a bad guy (very well, I might add). I had the pleasure of working with Moira Kelly on both One Tree Hill (my first "official" acting gig) and Remember the Daze. She is down to earth, charming and unaffected by the business. One of the funniest people I've worked and hung out with was Sherry Stringfield. The role she played in The Confession, and not too dissimilar from her role in ER, was not nearly as "light-hearted & goofy" as she is in real life.

My favorite part of acting, and one that's taken me entirely too long to master is "being natural." In other words, (1) taking the words on the page, (2) inhabiting them as if those words were my/your own, and (3) just have fun with it, not taking it too seriously. That, to me, is the secret.

Now, if you've hung in here this long, go ahead and take a look at my Demo Reel. It's only about 20 minutes, and shows a good breadth of my work, all of which I had a total blast creating.

Cheers!

Detective Frank Shelton in "Devil Went Down To Georgia" from YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE (ID) 

FLASHBACK WEDNESDAY ON FACEBOOK

One year ago this week, my novel BEHIND THE 8 BALL debuted and I offered it on Facebook for all Kindle readers.  This afternoon, as Facebook pinged to remind me of this event, I recalled the enthusiasm with which I shared my novel. I was, and still am, so very proud of this book. Not only is it a major accomplishment, as many of you writers know, but it's one of the books I feel represents a sizable shift in my writing skills; I hope so, anyway.

As a THANK YOU to my readers who have already devoured it, send me an email below and I'll give you the same Kindle pricing for the follow-up Carter Matheson novel, KNUCKLE DOWN, which according to @thetammyscott (one tough critic), feels is good if not better. You be the judge.

Watch the book trailer below, then take advantage of this special, as I do my part as a Good Santa and make this Special Holiday Offer between now & Christmas for all KINDLE readers.


Looking for a Holiday Stocking Stuffer?*

Get BEHIND THE 8 BALL for only

$1.99 through Christmas! 

*Get a Stocking Stuffer for Yourself -- It's Great Reading During Holiday Travel!

CARTER MATHESON IS BACK.

Carter and his best pal Mack return from their last mission with barely enough time to unpack, when Washington calls them to carry out another job.

Lt. Colonel “Bulldog” Matheson and longtime bodyguard Mr. Black have been kidnapped, and it's Carter & Mack's mission to bring them home.

The action heats up in Havana, Cuba, where the legendary Dr. Leonard Caprese has traveled into dangerous territory and infiltrated The Underground with a drug & arms dealer known as “The Scorpion.”

The clock is ticking. Suspense is building. And lives are on the line as money, drugs and power form the divide between good and evil. Dangerous men with dark intentions threaten both the lives of Carter, his crew, and our national security.

If you missed LUCKY STRIKES, do not miss the follow-up thriller, BEHIND THE 8 BALL.

 

BUY & READ ON KINDLE

Just write, dammit!

 - Photo credit belongs to my "wife-equivalent" Tammy whose support fuels my creative spirit.

I was sitting in Encinitas, CA yesterday, just outside San Diego, working on my latest novel #seductionatdaybreak, when I came upon a mental bump in the road. What was the bump, you ask?

Writer's Block? No. Story Failure? Hardly. Brain Fart? Likely.

That's when I got to thinking: Why am I, just like YOU, so hard on ourselves when it comes to our daily writing? Several thoughts came to mind; see if any hit you the same way.

We are afraid we suck.

So what if we suck? Do you think Hank Aaron gave up from swinging his bat the first time he tried to hit a home run? Do you think Michael Jordan, who he tried out for his high school varsity team but was cut because he wasn't tall enough, gave up right there? No. And, no. They kept practicing until they mastered their craft. 

Question: How Badly Do You Want To Master The Craft? 

Even when I started in Radio at the ripe age of 17, I sucked. Sure it was an "AM daytime station" with very little audience, and I played "beautiful music" on LP's, but that's what I really wanted, so I kept at it. Side note for another time: My childhood goal of hosting Morning Radio Shows in at least five of the Top Ten markets in America eventually came true. (Hint: LA, NYC, CHI, DET, PHIL)

Question: How Hard Will You Work To Become The Best? 

Point is: Practice Makes Better. I know the saying is 'practice makes perfect,' but what's "perfect?" Perfect to me is Really Very Good. Better yet; it's when I am personally satisfied that the piece is as good as I can make it. You ask another person; their opinion is different. I say, Whatever.

Who are you writing for?

Are you writing to get noticed? To get sponsored? To become one of the Biggest Bloggers on the planet? Are you writing just to get an agent, thinking they will do all the work later? Hope not, because that couldn't be further from the truth. Are you writing just to get published? What if it never happens. Do you find personal satisfaction with your work? Do you enjoy the creative process? Is that enough? Only YOU can answer this. For me, the joy is in the CREATION.

You're afraid you'll ever be good enough.

Good enough? In whose eyes? Who defines "good?" And is what they do (write/build/teach/etc.) "good" in your eyes? What if you simply "get a hoot" from writing? Maybe that's enough.

That's already been done before.

I know, I know...NOTHING is original anymore. True, but look at E. L. JAMES' FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. Her grammar, punctuation and over-used cliches leave much to be desired. Does she care, as he driver backs her Escalade up to the bank where they offload all her money? NO! She felt a void and filled it, and continues to fill it. Read: The insatiable desire for more naughtiness.

Question: What If "They" End Up Loving Exactly What You Love To Write?

Do you think Nicholas Sparks worries about being a guy who's sweet, sappy love stories are original? Do you think he concerns himself with things like: What if they don't like it...What if they've heard something like this before...What if get tired of sweet, wholesome stories. NO! He just loves to write. And I'm sure he loves having them all turned into Hollywood Movies!

It’s All Been Done Before.
— Everyone

Your friends & family won't like it (or write a review).

Big deal. SOMEWHERE, SOMEONE will like it. And they will be the ones to buy, read & review. Note to self: Don't hang your hopes on friends/family to post a review for you. While I don't have the perfect answer for this, I'll just assume either (1) they don't want to hurt your feelings if they don't like it, (2) they're worried they aren't good at writing reviews, or my personal favorite, (3) they're "too busy."  Whatever.

My Bottom Line.

Write for the FUN of it. If you find any PLEASURE at all in writing, DO IT! Write for the PRACTICE of it, because you know if you put in the time, you'll get better. And who knows, eventually you'll be writing for the PROFIT of it, as people start lining up to buy & read your latest work.

You can’t be a writer, if you don’t put your butt in the chair. It takes Seat Time!
— me

Whether you write part-time, full-time, as a hobby, as a freelancer, or as "someone else," just be sure you're doing it because you ENJOY THE CREATIVE PROCESS.

#writeon