Category Archives: Journal

A record, as of personal occurrences, experiences, or observations

Easter – One Man’s Revelation

Easter

One Man’s Revelation

Spring Has Sprung!

The birds are singing and wildflowers magically paint the landscape with a lush array of vibrant colors, well at least here in central Texas. It’s pretty much my favorite time of year in this state, a time when a fair skinned fellow such as myself can comfortably soak up the sun without having to slather on toxic chemicals in order to interact with normal sun tolerant people. Honestly most springs fly by unnoticed other than the vast seas of color that envelope the hillsides, commonly caught up in childlike exuberance of “doing cool shit”, I never took the time to reflect on the significance of this time of year. Growing up a preachers kid I was exposed to the religious importance of this holiday from a very young age, due to the physical and emotional abuse of my childhood my ability to clearly see the beauty of this time of year was blinded by anger and resentment. Gratefully I have had the opportunity to reflect on a lot of things lately one them including Easter.

The Winter of my Soul

The last couple of years in my life have been crazy to say the least, I found myself trapped in an emotional blizzard of depression, one that left my soul with cabin fever clawing at my heart. The details can be spared for the sake of my sanity and your time but lets just say being an idealistic romantic can cause someone like me to invest way too much time and energy into people who don’t share the same definition of love. After it was all said and done, I found myself alone again in what is currently one of the most challenging experiences of my adulthood, with nothing but bittersweet memories and broken hopes. In the last month of 2015 I decided to quit a “comfortable” job in order to complete my education in massage therapy, mainly because I knew the psychological importance of showing myself I can complete something. When I started that journey it was with the illusion of support and love from someone very dear to me, someone I thought I could share my imperfection with and someone I hoped would see that this as an integral part of getting myself prepared for our future together.  Needless to say that person did not share the same feelings nor desires. I soon found myself in the midst of an emotional whirlwind, buried under a schedule of trying to balance two part time jobs, full time school and the occasional band practice frantically running from the feelings of rejection and failure that all too often accompany the loss of a romantic attachment.

Spring Break! Spring Cleaning?

For most musicians in Austin spring break really just means SXSW is going to make your life crazy for the next week or so, though this one was very unique for me as I had not been in school to appreciate this time of year for over a decade. With my week nights freed up in for the first time in months I finally had the chance to let my feelings catch up with me, something I was literally terrified of, fearing those feeling might halt my momentum. I knew I was in need of a serious emotional catharsis, one that might help me better navigate the turbulent waters of my mind. A trip perhaps? Not necessarily focusing on the destination but more on the chance to get a new perspective, a journey that would help me remember a part of myself I forgot. My internal house was in need of some serious spring cleaning, a chance to knock down the cobwebs of old thought patterns and wipe the dust away from my long neglected inner child. The radiant sun illuminating the state of my life, I was starting to see the emotional importance of this commonly dreaded  responsibility.

Resurrection… Metaphorically Speaking

Of course the religious cornerstone of Easter revolves around the death and resurrection of one the most incredible physical manifestations this realm of existence has ever seen, the act itself shrouded in wonder and awe as it appeals to a part of our soul we know to be absolutely true yet we have no way to comprehend.  Mysticism aside most people can see that this story is a great metaphor for the end of something, bringing along with it a new hopeful beginning. The truth is we must sometimes go through intense emotional or physical pain in order to be motivated enough to make certain changes that our lives need. Occasionally we need to kill our current self so we can become the person we were meant to be, so I did, I made my peace and began to lay my ego based thought process to rest with gratitude and respect. That being said the ego does not go down quietly, investigating the root cause of your “suffering” is a messy business one that can leave you exhausted and quite emotional. It may sound strange, but I can say I feel a new version of myself slowly breaking through, like blades of grass growing through the cracks of a sidewalk. Even more strange than that is the fact that this new version of myself comes with a feeling of familiarity like when you reconnect with an old friend.

Equinox

A time of year that marks when the nights of winter are slowly giving way to the days of summer, leaving us in a brief window of solar and lunar balance. Then it clicked, our ancestors recognized this time of year as having incredible trans formative potential which is why so many different cultures have a spring celebration. With nature providing the perfect backdrop, its completely organic to feel that this time of year is a great opportunity for us to shed our less desirable aspects in order to allow new growth. This concept is illustrated through the story of the crucifixion and resurrection, the first part symbolizing the blood exchange meant to pay for our mistakes and the second part showing that we are born anew unbound by the limitations of our past. Relinquishing our attachment to the sins of  our past enables us to continue growing in order to reach our highest possible potential. Various ancient cultures honored this with sacred rituals in order to acknowledge the lessons learned while encouraging the desire to continue learning. The equinox is a time of high energy that can be useful in purging our emotional trauma and propelling our spirits into the next chapter of our karmic journey.

So regardless of your spiritual beliefs this time of year is a unique culmination of spiritual sanctity, celestial alignment and seasonal transition that can be an incredible catalyst for change in your life. Whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual or all of them combined I hope you take this chance to achieve the evolution you desire.

Thanks for joining me on my journey and  as always you are worth More Than Gold.

Love,

Sam

 

LOVE – A Word that Falls Short – Final

Good Evening!

This entry marks the final installment in my series on the word LOVE. If you missed out on the earlier installments please visit the links below.

http://wp.me/p3NHzO-76

http://wp.me/p3NHzO-8C

http://wp.me/p3NHzO-aT

This subject is one of great value to me and I will be writing about it more in the future but no longer in the context of descriptive inadequacy.

The final LOVE I will be discussing here is not just one type but an all-encompassing version that really facilitates all other forms of LOVE.

What kind of LOVE am I referring to?

Under the descriptive titles i provided in the past this is best summarized as agape, what I am really wanting to highlight though is the importance of this type of LOVE for yourself.

Our opinion of ourselves really shapes the way we see and interact with the world we live in. When you can’t find any reason to LOVE yourself then it is really hard for you to truly LOVE anyone else. Some people might try to argue this sentiment because they can think of so many people they care about more than themselves. What is truly meant by this is your ability to accept all their flaws and ugly truths you may not like.

When you can acknowledge your own imperfection then it makes the humanity of others much easier to accept and even appreciate. Until you learn to LOVE yourself just as you are without judging or condemning then you will naturally do the same for everything else in your life. I can say from my own experience that as long as I was judging my own place in life I was consistently stuck in the same position, stagnant and floundering.

Throughout my adult life I have consistently had a very low self-opinion, mainly because I thought that appreciating things about myself could be taken as arrogance. This really stems from dealing with having a few very important people in my past telling me they hate how cocky I am. How I was perceived by others was misconstrued when I was younger due to my self-confidence mixed with a negative attitude and overly critical perspective that created a persona of an arrogant punk.

After a couple of years of pushing some of the most beautiful people I had ever known out of my life, I decided to reflect upon what was going wrong. It took quite a bit of time for me to wrap my mind around the recurring theme in the lessons of my life. Eventually it sunk in, like the foot of an elephant on the wet soft earth. I had a terrible opinion of the most important person in my life….me.

Why does this matter?

Almost immediately after asking myself this question, it hit me. If I don’t LOVE myself enough to allow all of the abundant gifts life offers then there is no way I am going change the things in my life I don’t like. My ability and intelligence could only take me so far it would require some of that extraordinary magic called good fortune in order to really see my dreams come to fruition. Being a man of idealism and romantic notions means that I had to fully embrace the beautiful potential of living this kind of life, meaning I had to believe that I was worthy of a life beyond my own limited ability to see.

Over the last few years of my life I have made a conscious effort to confront myself whenever I hear a negative thought start to surface. I started to use an expression that really fit my philosophy, police your thoughts for they can rob you of your joy. This does not mean I deny my negative thoughts or try to hide them, it means I recognize them and investigate what they are really saying when they arise.

Once you start watching your mind it becomes very easy to LOVE yourself, because then you can address the root cause of your negative thoughts. Everyone on this planet really suffers from very similar issues and after realizing this you will naturally start to recognize the things you don’t like about others in you. The transformation of your opinions of others will gradually change to one of acceptance and LOVE for you will start to see all people as a reflection of you and not some foreign entity.

I’m not promising you will have all the same blessings as myself but I am willing to promise you will have your own unique experiences that are specifically reserved for you. When you are ready to LOVE yourself enough to accept the gifts of life then you will find that they start arriving in an abundance.

I really must clarify LOVE for oneself does not mean delusional denial of your faults or short comings but a kind acceptance of your humanity. To LOVE the self in this context is not ego stroking more like ego removal through a balanced approach of acknowledging and appreciating the being who resides beyond the “conscious” mind.

Let’s just summarize real quick, LOVE yourself, because you are worth it. Then you will start to LOVE others unconditionally and you will find peace in your life . The surest sign of a healthy self LOVE is the ability to graciously accept the gifts of life whether it be from a person directly or just a stroke of “luck”. The basic foundation for all forms of LOVE must start with agape of yourself.

As always you are worth MORE THAN GOLD.

THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU,

Sam

Consequence – A Bitter Taste

Consequence

A Bitter Taste

I normally try to write insightful or inspiring posts as that is what I like to contribute to the lives of others. Something I consider to be more valuable than that is authenticity.

This entry is one directly from the heart of a hurting young man who so desperately wants to not have to face the consequences of his decisions that he has consistently ran from them all of his life.

I’m done, I can’t keep running it appears the route of escape was always destined to be a dead-end. One filled with thoughtless mistakes and foolish assumptions.

A mistake is a common thing, honestly speaking I am walking catastrophe in life a person just like anyone else. The one thing that I really consider to be unique about my disposition is that when my mistakes only effect me they are of little consequence but when my actions cause another person pain it eats me up inside. I know I can’t go through life without hurting others, the knowledge of this pain does not make it any easier for me to deal with it when I do.

I sit here writing with tears in my eyes, not seeking sympathy or consoling, just desiring to show that someone such as myself has to deal with the lows of life as well. All too often in my life I hear others say, “You are just so damn happy! Always such an optimist.” These attributes are fairly accurate and behind them I am just hiding from pain like the rest. My positive perspective does not make me impervious to being hurt or upset, what it means is that my life tends to balance out in the beautiful dance of duality just like anyone else.

The danger in living the way I do is that you get addicted to the highs of life so much that you can’t stomach the lows and end turn start using external vices to numb that pain. How I would love not to feel right now. Something I have learned in my journey is that in order to be able to truly appreciate the amazingly wonderful feelings we are blessed with we must also be able to accept the not so pleasant ones as well.

I can’t lie and say this is an easy thing to do or that I am any good at it but I can say that the time has come in my life to face the music. Just reading these words scares the living hell out of me, my mind says, “Are you crazy?” My heart agrees, “Please don’t do this.” My soul responds, “It must be done, you know it.”

I wont go into the details of my transgression but I will at least admit that my thoughtless actions caused pain in the life of the woman I love. She has every right to be hurt and has asked me to not be a part of her life anymore. The child in me wants to fight it, with my mind spewing out ideas of how to keep her in my life as if she is some kind of possession. Alas, the only thing that can rectify this injustice is honoring her request and being grateful for the time I was granted.

When you are standing in a moment such as this you can’t help but see catastrophic ends. The world appears to be crumbling down all around you, the main reason being that you had already planned how your future was going to be and when you see things changing beyond your control you automatically assume the worst. If you look at your past experiences you will notice the world has not ended despite how much you felt like it was.

So this is me getting a taste of my own medicine and I’ll tell you it has a bitter taste, like soap in the mouth after swearing when you were younger. Today I have had so many hopes and wishes that have no basis in reality only selfish desire, which only goes to illuminate the necessity of this lesson in my life. Now I relinquish my selfish intentions and send out a simple wish of healing for the pain I caused.

If I may be so arrogant as to quote one of my own songs.

The Bitter

“In life it happens, we all fall apart.

Sweep up the pieces of our broken hearts.

Don’t you give up, nor run or retreat,

Without the bitter the sweet just ain’t as sweet.”

 

Thanks for tuning in and as always you are worth MORE THAN GOLD.

THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU.

Sam

LOVE – A Word that Falls Short – Pt 4

Good Evening!

This entry marks another installment in my series on the word LOVE. If you missed out on the earlier installments please visit the links below.

http://wp.me/p3NHzO-76

http://wp.me/p3NHzO-8C

http://wp.me/p3NHzO-aT

As this subject is one of great value to me I will be writing this subject in installments over the next few weeks that way I can keep a little variety to my content. Hopefully by the end of these entries you will understand why I think that the word LOVE does not do justice to the wide gambit of emotions that we are trying to express through its use.

If you have been following my posts on this topic, then you would probably be asking about the LOVE I haven’t spent a lot of time discussing yet, Eros.

This LOVE is normally referred to as romantic LOVE.

The strange thing about this LOVE is, humans have a funny habit of confusing this LOVE with the instinctual desire to procreate. A unique combination of powerful hormones and societal programming can occasionally lead perfectly logical people to do some rather illogical things. Sadly Eros has gotten a bad rep due to it being confused with lust which is not LOVE at all but a selfish fixation that exists to provide one party with a fictionally derived sense of validation through the control or possession of another party.

Well I am here to say that this self-gratification does not qualify as LOVE and should never confused with Eros. Let me clarify some major differences.

First Eros is not to be confused with strictly physical attractions although the name is similar to erotica it does not only pertain to sexual arousal. Secondly this form of LOVE is non possessive and does not derive its strength from its ability to make another being conform to your desires. Most importantly this LOVE is not based on any specific criteria but more of a culmination of deep gratitude and desire for the others well-being in life. Well-being of course defined as emotional, physical and spiritual harmony in one’s life.

When it comes to the carnal passions of people in Eros that does not mean they don’t exist it means that they are balanced with a sense of understanding and appreciation. What this means is that you are physically attracted to your partner not just solely because they maintain the  status quo in their physique but mainly because you know you enjoy the intimate interaction with that individual just as much as the rush of post coitus endorphins that flood your brain.

As for the possessive controlling side of infatuation, Eros is a state of complete surrender and acceptance. LOVE of this type has no expectation or preconceived notions, it strictly enjoys the absolute uniqueness of the other individual and revels in their true nature. What this means is that Eros does not find is sense of definition through how the other person reflects upon you, as you are completely content with letting them be themselves regardless of how it might be perceived.

The last defining difference is a little more ambiguous and is really why people need to be able to listen to their heart in order to effectively practice LOVE. You can’t look at the relationship with the other person and say well it no longer provides “butterflies” or contains the characteristics of the earlier phases. As this relationship is like most other things on the planet it must grow and change in order to continue to exist but if you can appreciate just being with that person at that present moment not for what they have done in the past or could potentially do in the future then you are in a relationship of real substance.

Additionally you have to be interested in doing what is right for the other person regardless of how much you may not enjoy or desire to do it. This area really provides a lot of confusion because there are plenty of things we know would benefit the individual of our affection, but really would require us to be taken out of our comfort zone or may involve us having to learn about something that we are not truly interested in. Once you are willing to take on this change you will find that your relationship grows from it and most of the time you enjoy it because it is something new for you to do with your partner.

One major word of advice I can share is don’t measure your relationship based of off other people’s, this is a sure recipe for insanity and disappointment. It’s pretty simple actually all you have to realize is that just as every person on this planet is unique the same goes for relationships. Now there are all kinds of place you can go to search for advice on LOVE but I’ll tell you the honest truth is you have the wisdom you could ever need living with in yourself. Stay in touch with your feelings, be honest and communicate those are the building blocks of any healthy relationship whether it be Philia, Eros, or Agape.

As always you are worth MORE THAN GOLD.

THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU,

Sam

Honesty – The Path of Least Resistance

“No legacy is so rich as HONESTY.”

William Shakespeare

Wow, a very simple sentence that bears so much truth it is just amazing.

HONESTY a word that almost seems convenient to avoid. We as humans do an impeccable job at making ourselves believe that it is much easier to lie.

Where does HONESTY fit in our society of lawyers who are rewarded for their manipulation of the truth, doctors that are validated through their destruction of health and schools that are paid for their degradation of knowledge?

The answer is pretty simple it belongs in your heart, because if you want to live a life full of love and joy then it all begins with HONESTY.

What is really funny about lying is we normally commit a lie under the pretense of it being easier at the time we say it. Then we have to go the rest of our lives trying to maintain our deceptions at the cost of our own sanity which ends up taking more time and energy than just telling the truth in the first place.

There are so many forms of deceit it is really astounding that some people think they can justify theirs because it was not as “important” as someone else’s. But there are two particularly strange lies that seem to be overlooked and passed on as appropriate or necessary.

“White Lies” – An often trivial, diplomatic or well-intention-ed untruth.

Lie of Omission – Also known as a continuing misrepresentation, a lie by omission occurs when an important fact is left out in order to foster a misconception.

Both of these ridiculous means of communication are commonly perceived as harmless, or benign. Now please don’t misconstrue my words here, I am not claiming to be perfect but I am willing to admit that treating these lies like they have no effect on us or the world around us is foolishly dangerous and disrespectful.

When people use these mechanisms it only ends up making their lives more convoluted and overly complicated. What is even more destructive about it, is that the people we end up using these “harmless” lies with are the people that we care about the most. Normally we justify them with the pretense of doing this because we don’t want to hurt the other person.

Realistically speaking we end up using this broken logic to hide that we are really choosing this option because it appears to be easier. Without any regards for how that person would be affected by finding out the truth we so conveniently tried to hide or deny.

If you have ever been on the receiving end of this exchange you probably don’t enjoy it very much because we all truly enjoy people who sincerely care for us. HONESTY is a characteristic that is viewed like tax responsibility, we always seem to think that it is a big priority for others but would prefer to only bear that burden when it is convenient.

Another harmful side effect of this nasty habit is how it affects our perceptions of reality. As we continue to lie to others it becomes easier and we lie more often. Then that ancient wisdom really seems to shows its merit, because we start seeing the world as a reflection of our own actions and are not able to trust others due to the lies we spread in our own lives.

I’ll tell you from personal experience a person who is willing to risk the convenience of the moment for the future of trust is worth more than anything else in my life. I may be upset briefly but once the initial emotion fades if I can weigh that against the HONESTY of the individual it makes it very easy for me justify keeping that person around. If I am upset and they have no sincerity then it becomes a challenge to convince myself that the individual deserves another opportunity to potentially hurt me again.

Does this mean I think you should be intentionally hurtful to others when they ask you loaded questions? No of course not it requires you to be honest with kindness a unique blend of character that can only be mastered with practice. The simple thing about practice is that is requires you to be willing to admit you will make some mistakes and will need the guidance of others occasionally.

Would this also mean that we should openly condemn ourselves for short comings when others ask about them? I would hope you are perceptive enough to realize that your HONESTY should not be something that you look at as a weakness. What is great about HONESTY is the more you practice it the less you have to worry about it getting you in trouble because as you become more honest, then your life starts reflecting that trait in abundance.

Let me finalize this with a few thoughts or suggestions whatever they may be called. Try taking the time to carefully speak with kindness and HONESTY to others so that you don’t have to keep wasting energy perpetuating a lie that only serves to potentially damage your relationships or mental health. HONESTY is the easiest way to handle life so stop making it harder than it has to be.

As always you are worth MORE THAN GOLD.

THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU!

Sam

What makes a woman beautiful is her loyalty to and her friendships with other women, and her HONESTY with men.
Vanessa Marcil

Imperfection – Redefining Reality

Imperfection.

This word brings up a lot of emotions in me. Of course it sounds very judgmental and negative when you take it from the general understanding of the word. Even looking up the definition is a bit of a downer.

So let me address a new definition that I think really fits more accurately and allows us to see this word in its true light.

Imperfection – the state or an instance of lacking completeness

Now when you look at it that way doesn’t really seem so bad right? Well at least it doesn’t to me, let me illustrate why this alternative definition can take the negativity right out of perception.

Let me start with a quote.

“The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.”

Alden Nowlan

It took me a long time to comprehend this and still takes a very large amount of conscious effort to accept and practice it. One of the best teachers I had this was my father, he used to say, “Sin was just a word they used in archery contests, it meant to miss the mark.”

This simple lesson really helped me take a word that seemed catastrophic in its use and turn it into ordinary. When people are raised in the Christian faith all too often do we hear that our sins are what will condemn us or that our imperfection is some form of weakness.

Well I am here to call bullshit on this faulty logic, what we have been tricked into believing is our weakness is actually our greatest strength. When we look at the world it is only through imperfection that progress is made, that we desire more for and from ourselves.

Growing up with red hair also helped me comprehend this beautiful deduction, when speaking genetically my red hair is a mutation, or an imperfection in my DNA. When observed it is a unique characteristic that helps establish my identity and I have heard countless times growing up that women pay a lot of money to recreate this imperfection. Kind of funny if you ask me.

If our imperfections make us weak then why do we spend so much time and money trying to copy them. Now I am not any kind of jewelry expert so this could be wrong but from what I have heard in my life is that the main difference between natural gemstones and their man-made counterparts is that the natural ones bear flaws or imperfections. This unique characteristics actually make them more valuable than their perfect copies.

Truly there is a pretty long list of things that really illustrate this concept but I know you are starting to get the picture. Why then are we willing to let others tell us that our imperfections make us inadequate? Some of it comes from lack of self-love, most of us hold ourselves to a much higher standard than anyone else and this is a very destructive habit.

When we remove our ego from the situation and allow ourselves to make mistakes then we can truly accept and enjoy the things about ourselves the really help us stand out from the monotony of “perfection”. What I feel this word is really trying to create is uniformity so that we have to seek our individuality through the pursuit of material wealth.

Another potential cause for us falling for this trick, is because we as humans are social creatures even if you are an introvert, you still enjoy having some contact with people though it might be less than others. When we are told that we are imperfect and we others on the outside it is very easy for us to look at them and think they have it all together.

Our faults seem to shout within our minds so loud that we can not even hear our other thoughts occasionally, while their faults seem non-existent. They only seem that way I promise we are all fighting our own battles within and of course your flaws seem to be much more visible, you see them everyday and as long you consider them a weakness your mind will look at them that way and try to solve a “problem” that doesn’t exist or need to be solved.

So let’s look at this world no longer in contempt of the imperfection that we notice just in splendor and awe of the potential for change that comes through all of the unique artistic imprints that we have been blessed with.

As always you are worth MORE THAN GOLD.

THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU,

Sam

LOVE – A Word that Falls Short – Pt 3

Good Evening!

This entry marks another installment in my series on the word LOVE. If you missed out on the earlier installments please visit the links below.

http://wp.me/p3NHzO-76

http://wp.me/p3NHzO-8C

As this subject is one of great value to me I will be writing this subject in installments over the next few weeks that way I can keep a little variety to my content. Hopefully by the end of these entries you will understand why I think that the word LOVE does not do justice to the wide gambit of emotions that we are trying to express through its use.

The LOVE to be discussed in today’s installment is one of great relevance to my life partially because of how I abused and manipulated this LOVE you my own selfish gains, along with it being one of the most common characteristics appreciated in me by others today.

Philia – The love between friends, in this situation platonic.

As a child I moved a lot, which normally this means you don’t have many friends. Luckily, I was the youngest of three children so you could say I had captive playmates. In my life this caused some problematic developments in example: inability to form long lasting bonds, seeing most relationships as short term and solely for utilitarian purposes, constant to desire to be socially accepted, and the worst complete disassociation with myself.

Some of these characteristics can also be attributed to isolation caused by over use of video games or delusions of grandeur (Ego mania). These can be discussed in a later article.

When I was a teen I had a few really great friends that I absolutely loved spending time with but looking back on it now most others in my mind were deemed appropriate to serve a purpose normally a selfish one. Whether it was because they had something I wanted or because it gave me some company in my misery, I had never taken the time to appreciate these people and what value they as individuals were bringing to my life.

There is no need to sugar coat it, I was an evil bastard who used people for my own selfish gains. Even worse then that I did my best to convince these people that I was a good friend to them. Now I have to adjust this a bit this was only from my early to late teens so as a young kid my heart was still very open to LOVE and Philia in specific was something that I regularly sought out. As I grew older and listened to common social programming, I fell into that dangerous thinking that no-one can be trusted and people are best used instead of LOVED.

Through my teens I started creating a persona of a cool guy who was just too deep to care about what others thought of me, funny thing is that cool guy was so worried about others picking up on this persona that it in itself left me a very confused individual. Eventually there were people who did come to listen to the ridiculous garbage I would prattle off about how the world was and other stuff like that. Originally I thought they were drawn to me because I was supposed to be some sort of great leader or something, then I started to notice they were listening to me for two different reasons.

One, because I listened to them or more appropriately did a very good job at pretending to care, two, I spoke with such confidence and pride that it was very easy for me to trick them into believing I knew what I was talking about. Some of the time I would go so far as to offer them unsolicited advice on how they should live their life because I knew that it would enable me to do certain things in my own life.  These are not things I am very proud of to be honest but nonetheless it is important to illustrate them in order to show you that anyone has the potential to change and if you met me today it would probably be pretty hard for you to comprehend.

Eventually, I found myself in a position where I was manipulating these people to such a destructive end that it was causing me to hate myself. Most of us would agree we all have special talents that can be either a blessing or a curse well my talent was being able to form deep connections with people so they would trust me. This trust when placed in the wrong hands is very destructive on all parties involved and though I was selfish at the time I was not really getting the desired results from my manipulations. A lot of these attempts at controlling the universe only backfired and left me even more of a mess to clean up so that I could proceed with manipulating others.

One day it hit me, it was a sobering thought that really made me sick, the pain and suffering in most of these amazing young peoples lives we partially caused by my manipulations at trying to get specific results normally involving my substance abuse. This moment in time was not a very fun one for me as I was just going through a nasty break-up with a beautiful soul that really made me believe I had the potential to be something more than wicked waste of human space. When you take the fact that my heart was broken from Eros, and even more pain was coming in from the results of my misused Philia well this was enough to break my pride down.

The next steps I took were ones of caution and consideration for others, a very drastic change from the last few years in my life. But then it happened I was blessed with a strange opportunity to start redeeming myself. A couple that I hung out with was going through some relational issues then it so happened the girl from my previous relationship was caught sending illicit images and texts to the boyfriend. The girlfriend called me to talk about it and my head said, “You should take advantage of this situation and get laid.” but then my heart said,”Do you think that will help anything? How would you feel if that were you?”

Something strange happened, I noticed my own thoughts, confronted them and followed my heart. Instead I called the boyfriend asked him to come hang out with me, then when we met I talked to him about it in a LOVING honest way. After we talked for a while I made it clear to him that engaging in any short term sensory gratification would not make up for the pain he would feel when he loses some one he cares deeply for. Realistically I had not pretenses about saving their relationship but I was much more interested in LOVING these two people enough to let them gain my from perspective without concern for what I might get in return.

This was just the beginning of many other acts of Philia that I really came to enjoy in my own life but I see it as being a major turnaround and the beginning to truly developing LOVE for people in my life without expectations or demands as that is what LOVE is truly about.

Let me wrap this up with a closing thought, when you look at the friends in your life there are probably a very select few that have been there for you when you are crazy, depressed, addicted, selfish, needy, absent, or disrespectful. But if you can think of any one that provides such an amazing example of Philia in your life, do yourself a favor let them know you LOVE them because sometimes we forget how important it is to express this feeling openly to them and you never know when the next time you will be able to tell them how much you appreciate their friendship.

THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU.

Sam

Church – Kindness – Paradigm Shift

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is KINDNESS.”
Dalai Lama

Good Morning Loves! Thanks for tuning in!

I want to start this entry off with something that I try to use daily please read this aloud if you are able to you will enjoy it I promise.

Thank you for waking me up today, my good health, a clear mind, a heart full of love, an opportunity to make this world a little brighter, the people you have brought into my life, the lessons I am going to learn, and the divine abundance known as life. You are an amazing provider, which is reflected in this beautiful existence that I am grateful to enjoy. THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU!

Feel better? I do thanks for going along with that. Feel free to steal that it really makes my days start off great.

KINDNESS. Ah what a beautiful thing indeed, something can be perceived beyond any sensory limitations, cultural differences, or language barriers.

KINDNESS is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

Mark Twain

I’ll tell you this practice of KINDNESS is so much fun and enjoyable it makes you realize the world is not such a scary place. It’s a simple state of mind that allows you to make something that seems mundane or ordinary into an uplifting and heat warming experience.

“Love and KINDNESS are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.’

Barbara de Angelis

Lets look at the simple act of taking out your trash. If you live in a suburban area than you probably have to walk your bins out to the curb. Nothing too special and rarely does it ever warrant you wanting to congratulate yourself for completing it. Next time you do that if you have the chance try walking your neighbors bins out to the curb as well, go on try it. When you are done you will walk back into your house with a smile on your face and a simple sense of satisfaction that you normally wont find from just taking your own out.

“No act of KINDNESS, no matter how small, is ever wasted.’

Aesop

Have you ever found yourself a little bummed out or downtrodden, then suddenly a friend comes over and does something as simple as take you out for a meal or help you clean your dirty house? It feels great right? That person has instantly won a much more sincere sense of appreciation from you than any amount of gifts can garner. We known why it’s because of KINDNESS.

“One who knows how to show and to accept KINDNESS will be a friend better than any possession.”
Sophocles

I can honestly admit sometimes the simple act of KINDNESS can set the tone for the whole day for me so much that I don’t really talk about anything else.

“That best portion of a man’s life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of KINDNESS and love.”

William Wordsworth

I recall when I first moved to Austin I had been invited to go hang out with some new friends for an after party. So as I stop to get gas on my way there I was approached by a young man maybe a couple years older than me,clean shaven and definitely dressed for a good time. Funny thing was that the gas station where we met happened to be about twenty minutes north of downtown. He walked up to me and asked to use my phone while I was pumping gas, at first I was very skeptical, I mean “logic”  would say you don’t know this guy don’t trust him.

Then my heart said listen, as his story unfolded he was on military leave visiting to have fun with his friends but had gotten separated from them when he left the club with a girl he was trying to get with. To get to the point she was crazy and too drunk to drive so he demanded she drop him off immediately which left him at the gas station where I had stopped. I decided to let him borrow my phone, I mean really it was not a nice phone by any means, he called a few numbers but never got a hold of any one. I had finished pumping gas and it was getting pretty late, then I proceeded to do something that was very unconventional.

I offered him a ride to his hotel, the look of appreciation and surprise on his face was so genuine that I would never exchange that moment for any sense of “security” that would have been provided from me not offering it.  As we ride towards where his hotel was supposed to be located, I got to know him and he was amazing soul that had spent his last few months in Iraq providing medical care to children that were hurt during the war over there. He shared with me about how that made him feel and how he looked at those children to only see they were no different than his own son at home that he really missed. As we get closer to downtown he gets a little embarrassed because he can’t remember where his hotel is. Then I get a really crazy idea!

I then proceeded to invite him to the after party where a bunch of musicians are going to hanging out and having fun. His eyes lit up with joy and he smiled then said he would like that. As we start heading to the party he tells how much he loves music, which is why he had come to Austin and that he was trying to teach his son how to play guitar. Of course being in the military made it hard but he was determined to get back to civilian life once his contract was up so he could spend more time with him. We arrive at the party and I ask a favor of him,”Hey man I am fairly new to this group of friends and they might not like me for bringing a complete stranger into their apartment at this hour, so if they ask just tell them we are childhood friends.”

He nodded and agreed it wouldn’t be a good idea to scare everyone with this unconventional meeting. We go into the party and have a great time all the way until the sun starts to rise on the horizon. It’s about seven in the morning he let’s me know he just hailed a cab, gives me a hug ans says something that changed my attitude towards “strangers” forever. He said, “I just want to thank you man, I came to Austin to hear some good music and meet some great people. I spent most of the night with my friends, in lame clubs chasing girls only to be abandoned by the people I came here with. Then a complete stranger brought me to exactly what I had been searching for.”

He waived good-bye got into the cab and left.

“You cannot do a KINDNESS too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m not advising you to take the risks that I had here but I am asking you to look at this beautiful example of how you can’t even understand the value of how much your acts KINDNESS impact others, so don’t rob yourself or them of that opportunity.

Let me wrap this up with providing y’all some links to come really cool places about KINDNESS and let you know I will be sharing more KINDNESS quotes throughout the day.

https://www.facebook.com/KindnessIsMyReligion

http://www.kindspring.org/

As always you are worth MORE THAN GOLD.

THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU,

Sam

Karoshi – Death by Overwork

Another day of school and it only keep making me realize I made the right choice for my life.

Today’s topic is TRUE for my life and feel that is being made abundantly clear to me with my latest endeavors.

“Choose a job you LOVE, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Confucius

Sounds a little crazy I know, but I am a living example of this, GRATEFULly.

A couple of years back I started suffering from violent abdominal pains along with nausea and cramps that eventually led to severe dehydration and malnutrition which had me in a state of health that was far from appropriate for my age or lifestyle.

I mean I can be honest and say that I was not eating really healthy, exercising, or sleeping enough. Looking at this now you could probably say a lot of this was partially due to my severe dissatisfaction for being a cubicle lackey. No offense to any individual, but let’s get real, there is nothing healthy or enjoyable about sitting in front of a small computer screen, under bright fluorescent lights, staring at grey fuzzy walls for hours on end.

Let’s speculate a bit on why I wasn’t eating healthy first, when you are stuck in an environment of life stealing electronics that set your natural balance of serotonin off kilter then you will be prone to eat foods that make you feel good in order to provide an emotional high to balance yourself back out. What does that mean? Our bodies are so depleted of energy trying to maintain our hormones from work, that we constantly seek out complex carbohydrates, fats and sugars so that our body can convert them into quick energy. Most of these foods are not healthy but provide a quick response at the cost of nutritional value which means we are effectively poisoning our bodies in order to restore our basic chemical balance.

Now you say exercise? Don’t give me excuses on why you can’t work out after sitting all day you are just being lazy!

As easy as it is to be so negative that is not really the case, when you are sitting in a chair for an extended period of time looking at your computer monitor you are over using your postural muscles. These muscles are not normally trained or developed in any sense and when they are forced to hold a position for an extended period of time they are actually being injured due to abuse. Once your day is completed you are completely exhausted, consider it like trying to hold a push up for hours in a day, sounds pretty tiring to me. Of course the last thing you want to do after all that physical exertion is go exhaust some different muscles especially since you are still busy trying to balance out your hormones that are now producing in large quantities to heal your injured postural muscles.

Exhausted, under nourished and mentally drained you would think that sleep would be pretty easy.

If only that was true.

Remember those hormones I keep talking about? Yeah those little guys are really important for sleep and especially REM sleep which is where you actually can heal yourself from the day. It’s no surprise then that America is highly addicted to chemical substances that can be used to force a hormonal response in bodies in order for us to find a little peace from the insanity we call work. Can you tell me that sounds like a prosperous choice for living? When you look at the staggering cost of all of hormone balancing substances whatever they may be, does it really seem logical to take that job that you hate just because it pays well?

I feel that we as working class people have been duped into believing in a few different lies but the biggest one of all is that these jobs are the future. Corporate jobs of this sort are a dangerous risk that provides an illusion of security in exchange for our health and sanity. Well I can say right now that there is no amount of money that can ever be paid to an employee to compensate them for the years of their life that are being stolen in this exchange. Most major companies even know this, but of course they are not interested in paying you what you are worth because that means the select few at the top of the company would not be able to afford their materialistic greed, luxury vacations or lavish lifestyles that they live in order to compensate themselves for the health that they are sacrificing from the exact same practices.

This is not a call to arms by any means though this is more of a young man asking you a simple question.

If you were on your death-bed with only minutes left to live and someone offered you more time to live or money which would you take? That question should be pretty simple but with that being said if you can agree that your time is worth more than money then why are you willing to sacrifice it right now when tomorrow is not guaranteed? Will you look back on your life and say, ” Wow that was some good money I made.” or would you say, ” Wow those were some great times.”

So do yourself and your loved ones a favor start looking into doing something that you enjoy, so that you enjoy all that you do and can make the best of the time you do have. Just remember you are worth More Than Gold.

As Always THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU.

Sam

Below I have provided a link to a great related article that provides some awesome suggestions on how to keep from suffering Karoshi – Death by Overwork.

http://wakeup-world.com/2013/09/18/why-engaging-in-work-you-love-could-save-your-life/

*More Than Gold and it’s authors are not medical professionals and are not meant to supplement medical council so if you have any questions about whether or not these health concepts should be applied in your life these please discuss this with a licensed medical professional of your choice*

Acceptance – For your Sanity

Hey everyone sorry for the silence I have been one busy little dude.

Just a quick insight into my life right now, yesterday I started massage therapy school full time which I am super excited about don’t worry I’ll provide some more details on what I learn and how returning to school has effected this dropout in a later article of course.

Today I am writing about acceptance, some people call it tolerance or being open minded but specifically I am wanting to talk about how acceptance is actually the only way our species will be able to survive over the next few turbulent years.

Now I am not some great prophet nor do I believe that I have some unique ability to see the future, but I am very confident in my ability to be consciously aware of our present circumstances. It doesn’t take a clairvoyant to see that our planet and more specifically America is a little overdue for a time out.

When we look at current global issues I can safely say a lot of these really boil down to honest hardworking people not listening to their hearts and allowing others their own unique right to be.

Sounds a little vague? What does it mean to let someone be?

It’s pretty simple to me at least it means loving your neighbor enough to allow them to make decisions in their life that you may not agree with. For too long we human beings have used a survival mechanism of division so that if we ever felt threatened by someone then we can find others that belong to a similar mindset and feel safety in numbers.

In the dark ages this worked, in feudalism this worked, in the renaissance this worked, pretty much through all of history this has worked…… until now! It’s incredibly imperative that we start looking at these divisions and start dismantling them before they dismantle us.

Let’s look at some of our greatest historical figures, ones that actually helped the evolution of the human spirit, they all discussed this in their own way. What really came from most of them is that they told us to love one another as we would want to be loved. Now I know this seems like an over simplification of some of these great teachers and I’m not trying to diminish each’s individual contribution furthering our understanding of this beautiful miracle called life. What I am trying to do is take an objective standpoint of looking at all these great leaders and what central theme resonated through their works, it’s pretty obvious the word LOVE stands out incredibly strong.

LOVE being the kind of acceptance to allow others their freedom to think, feel and do as they see fit in their lives. I do not for a second think this means you will allow others to walk on you because as a parent should know when to LOVE their child and set boundaries I believe that we as adults should be able to do the same for each other.

Let me delve into this a bit, when another person says or does something that you don’t agree with think for a second before you speak. Does this person’s decision have an effect on me? If it doesn’t then do I believe this decision could do harm to them or others? If you can answer yes to either of these I would agree you need to speak up and share your insights in a respectful manner. If no then ask yourself would I like receiving the unsolicited advice or opinions of others? Am I allowing this persons decision to rob me of my serenity?

Realistically speaking there are a ton of simple acronyms you can use to create a thought process like this but I personally believe all of this could really be prefaced with a more important question. Does this person’s decision make them less worthy of being LOVEd and respected as I would want to be? I hope for your own sake that you can answer that honestly it should always be no because you are worth being LOVEd and respected equally as well.

Additionally I want to discuss a very nasty trend I have noticed among some of the people in my life that I LOVE and respect dearly. There is this terminology coming up in two directions one is “conspiracy theorist” while the other is sheeple. Now forgive me for starting with the easy one first “conspiracy theorist”, this term is really kind of pointless and I think when you are calling someone this you are only trying to put a derogatory term to a very positive attribute, if we didn’t have people who were willing to question the status quo then we would never have progress.

Now to all of my tin foil hat wearing brethren, what makes you think insulting others and calling them names will make them want to listen to you? If you are so interested in sharing your intelligent, educated, and revolutionary insights, why not do it in a productive way that inspires others to want to think for themselves? This lesson was fairly hard for me to learn as well when I as younger. My dad had some very simple advice for me that really started the growth process for me, he said, ” Sam you don’t have to go to every fight you are invited to”

This profoundly simple advice did not hit home until a couple years after it was shared but around that time an even more humbling thought came to mind,”Who am I to say what someone else should believe?” I’ll tell you this really brought me to a much more peaceful place in my life where I openly shared my opinions when they were asked for or simply realized that it is not my place to make others see life my way it is only my place to help them see it their’s.

If you think that we as a species are going to be able to handle the upcoming trials and hardships as a divided populace then I really hope you are right but from what I can tell there is only one way for us to really see success so that our children and their children can enjoy half of the simple pleasures we did when we were young. The funny thing about life is just because it’s simple doesn’t always mean that it’s easy so as simple as loving one another sounds it’s quite the enormous endeavor but I have absolute faith in all of you because I know there are no limits to the potential of humanity when we decide to cooperate and more importantly I know because I am seeing this change already starting to happen in so many ways.

 

As always THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU!

Sam