About Love (perfectly imperfect written words)

Love is a powerful,
      ferocious force.

It brings people people together
and keeps them connected
      wherever and whenever.

It's what provides passion
and gives people real power.
It's why I am who I am
      at this very hour.

If I could catch Love in a bottle,
      it'd shatter far more
      than any astronaut could explore.
Love can't be contained or hidden,
it doesn't work that way,
Love can only shared or given.

Love is the force behind all good choices,
It's where we find the strength
for our numerous voices. 

Truly happy people Love who they are
and put Love in everything that they do.
Ask anyone or everyone,
all these statements are absolutely true.

Sign of Something (a poem)

There is something
in this morning;
possibly an aura in the air,
a signal from the sun
      peering through the clouds
messages from music
      from the radio.

The vibe is good.
This feeling is good.
There is something
      undeniably good about today.


Dear Friend: "Step Out of the Darkness Any Way You Can"

Dear Friend,

I know that you've been stuck in a rut lately.  You recently told me that you haven't felt like yourself in a while.  It saddens my heart to hear that and I want to tell you that I'm here for you.

I've been down that dark alley before.  It's not a place people like to be in, but I believe it's necessary to be there in order to go to the physical, mental, and emotional places we're meant to be.

As you are walking down this alley, fortunately and unfortunately, you are the only one who can escort yourself out of the shadows.  I can guide you and give you directions, but you yourself must take the steps forward.

It's absolutely important you get out of there; staying there keeps you from truly living.  Your broken presence is a disservice to yourself and everyone around you.

So get out of there any way you can!  If you crash into a door 4,093 times, keep trying; it might open next time.  If your legs are tired, bleeding, or broken, crawl yourself out inch by inch.  It may take a while to get out, but it'll be worth it.

When I got out of my dark alley, I had to spend hours in solitary self-reflection.  I decided that I wanted to move forward.  I apologized and forgave.  I cried and laughed.  I learned to trust myself and others again.  I honestly accepted me for myself.

The real hard truth is that once in a while I do find myself back in the shadows, only now I'm much better at stepping into the light.  That's where our hearts belong.

I pray with patience you will be there soon.


Sincerely,
Me

One Love (a poem)

when One is in Love,
One knows it.
One simply cannot be told
that One is in the loveliness of Love.


Friday Freedom (a poem)

There is an aura in the air
uplifting people everywhere.
The wait to lift off work weight
      is now here.

Savoring this
is like fine wine aging for years;
      waiting for the moment
      to enjoy the fermenting flavor
      and once sipped, savored, and swallowed,
            it's gone.

This moment is permeated with possibilities.
      Something can happen,
            nothing can happen,
                  this or that,
                        or anything else.


Purification (a poem)

In the depths of my demise
Deep between the stories behind my eyes
there may be an ironic surprise
that "things" are not what they truly are

Pain really is
      anger draining away.
Pain actually
      is frustration leaving my being.
Pain is
      suffering fading away.

It's the process
that molds me into who I need to be
      and go where I need to see.

3 Things About Hope Everyone Should Know

If I could say three absolute truths about hope, this is what I would say:

Hope is steadily stubborn. It is that feeling that refuses to die on the inside, no matter how much I want to give up. It'll shrink, it may fade, but it'll always be there. At my toughest and darkest times, it's that inner voice that tells me to hold on just for a little bit longer.

Hope is irrevocably irrational. It tells me,"Yes!" when everything and everyone else says, "No." It tells me there is possibility in the face of dooming logic. When I think that something about my future is inevitably tragic, hope acts as my rebellious conscience and tells me to ignore the negativity and trust my heart.

Hope is always available. It doesn't cost any money nor needs to be manufactured. All it takes is the choice to let go of pain, anger, and fear and then decide to have a better attitude. Anyone anywhere at any time can access hope. In my experience so far, hope has always been my friend, therapist, and emotional paramedic through all my growing pains.

The tool for transformation and power for positivity is this thing called hope.

3 Shifts In Perspective That Make Life Happier

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

Perspective really makes a huge difference in everything we do every day.  At the start, we choose our attitude on how we approach the day.  During the day, we choose how we react to everything we encounter. At the end of the day, we choose to believe a specific version of what happened.

In my own experience, making certain shifts in my perspective has increased my overall happiness and satisfaction.  I choose to be more of an optimist than a pessimist (although some moments are harder to be positive than others).  These are three shifts that I've made that have been very empowering to me in my daily routines.

From being "busy" to being "productive."

When I first entered the work force, I was always pushed by my managers to be busy.  If I worked harder to finish earlier, I was "rewarded" by being given more tasks to do.  I always had to be doing something, not being busy was unacceptable. 

Somewhere along the way I realized that if I slowed down, took it easy, and took longer to get my tasks done, it would be beneficial for me because I would look like a good employee to my managers and not break my back at work.  The problem with this approach is that it's less productive.  Even though I push myself to do more than I've done in the past, the pressure to "be busy" has always lingered in the back of my mind and kept me from reaching my full potential.

Last year, when I read through The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, it blew my mind away.  It preached about focusing on being productive at work versus being busy.  That shift changed everything for me.  Instead of focusing on always keeping myself occupied, I focused on getting things done.  I planned my day.  I prioritized my tasks.  I managed my time wisely.  I even allowed myself time to relax knowing that it was okay if I was really productive. 

It's a good mentality to have not just at work, but also at home.  I push myself to be productive so that I can spend more time with my family.


From "spending" to "investing."

Money is something that comes and goes.  It's something that we all need and want to a certain extent (it depends on a lot of factors).  As I get older, the more I realize that I need to spend my money more wisely (especially since now I have a family).

Even though I have many years to go in my career and anything can change, I've come to realize that I need to make my money last.  I have bills to currently pay, my son's college to save up for (and any other kids I may have in the future), and retirement.  I work hard for what I earn, and I need to make it last. 

Now for every purchase I make, I think a little more before buying anything.  Every purchase needs to be an investment in something practical that will actually be used.  I usually buy quality items instead of items of quantity since quality items tend to last longer and don't need to be replaced or repurchased as much.  Everything that I buy needs to be an investment in my family's health or well being.  It helps me save money and make my money really count. 


From "problems" to "opportunities for growth."

One of my favorite "Life Laws" from Dr. Phil is "Life is managed; it is not cured."  He knew that no matter what, everyone would be faced with problems all throughout their lives. 

The concept of a problem is problematic.  It implies that there is something wrong and isn't supposed to be that way.  When faced with a problem, people can see it as a problematic situation or an opportunity for growth.

It's a concept that I always need to remind myself, especially during my most stressful moments.  I can either let the problem defeat me or turn it into an important life lesson.  When I was dealt with overwhelming responsibilities, I made myself learn to manage my time more wisely.  When faced with conflict, I learned to communicate, cooperate, and compromise.  I proactively pushed myself to meet the necessity of the situation.


References

Ferriss, Timothy. The 4-hour workweek: escape 9-5, live anywhere, and join the new rich. New York: Crown Publishers, 2007. Print.

McGraw, Phillip C.. Life strategies: doing what works, doing what matters. New York: Hyperion Books, 1999. Print.

Why We're Never "Lost"

“Just because you don't know your direction doesn't mean you don't have one.”
- Battlestar Galactica
“Someone to Watch Over Me” (2009)
 
Being late is one of my big pet peeves.  It could be for anything, work, appointments, or dinner with friends, running in late doesn’t do so well for me.  So whenever I go anywhere new, I usually leave much earlier than I’m supposed to so that in case I get lost, I can still make it there on time.
 
Last weekend I had an important meeting in Apple Valley, which is really far from where I live.  It's a little more than a 50 mile (80.47 km) trip just to get there.  I had to take the Interstate 15 North freeway for about 39 miles and then go east on CA State Route 18.  The building where my meeting was supposed to take place was somewhere on that road.  According to the directions, it was supposed to take 50 minutes to get there, but just to be safe I gave myself a little more than an hour.
 
I normally don't go towards that part of town, so most of the trip was a foreign adventure to me.  I saw a lot of desert land and a lot of empty space.  There were some moments on the drive that I thought I missed a freeway exit. When I finally exited the freeway, my directions and what I saw in front of me didn't match up.  The street names on my map were different from the street signs. So I did what I thought was the best idea; I used my internal compass to make my best guess on where to go. 
 
Fortunately I wasn't lost after all.  I made it right on time to my meeting.  The whole time I was on the right road headed in the right direction, and I didn't know it. 
 
For the past week, I've been thinking about my little incident of "luck."  It can be a metaphor for pretty much every goal in life.  We're always heading towards a direction whether it's intended or not, even if it's in unfamiliar territory.  The directions may be misleading or the signs may be unclear, but where we end up isn't an accident. 
 
We're always where we need to be in order to get where we're meant to go.
 
 

Dear Friends: "Welcome to Parenthood!"


Dear Friends,
 
Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby boy! Get ready for a roller coaster ride full of dirty diapers, teething, and precious memories.  For my wife and me, our son has been bringing us immense amounts of joy and I’m excited to see your son bring the same happiness to you both.
 
You might already know this, but parenthood really changes EVERYTHING.  It’s amazing to see how one little baby changes every parent’s priorities and lifestyle.  Every decision from now on will be made with the baby in mind.  Before my family and I go anywhere, we have to check if that place is baby friendly.  When we go out to eat, we check to make sure that the restaurant’s restrooms have a changing table. 
 
Everything now revolves around the baby.  Sometimes I feel like my son is in charge.  He tells us when we can and can’t sleep.  He determines if we are on time or late to church or anywhere really.  His toys have slowly taken over the living room.  Whenever we go on trips, we’ve had to stuff the car with the stroller, diaper bag, food for the baby, extra clothes, and (if it fits) our stuff.  When we go shopping, usually it’s for baby clothes, diapers, wipes, or baby food.
 
Priorities change, and it’s perfectly fine.  I used love buying the fancier fashion at Express, but now I’m totally fine with buying clothes at Target so I can save more money for my family.  Before my family, my ideal car was a sports car (Toyota Celica GTS), but now a van or a wagon sedan look pretty appealing.
 
Having a baby really is the most selfless act anyone can do. 
 
As parents give our time, effort, money and anything else we can give to not only give our kids the highest quality of life possible, but also happiest lives possible.
 
Congrats again and welcome to the club!
 
 
Sincerely,

Me