Monday, January 14, 2013

Discover your reason to appreciate life

The clear bluest green waters roared as if it had a voice.  The sun was shining as if the voltage was turned so far up even the shadows weren’t as dark.  All around me as I lay on a brightly colored beach towel the sounds of laughter filled the air.  Children played in the ocean as adults played alongside them as if they were recapturing their own childhood.  My own wife had abandoned me for hours as she frolicked in the waters of the great Pacific Ocean.  Periodically I would look up to spot her before the waters sucked her back in. Hawaii was quickly becoming my wife’s new lover.  I relished in her glee and reflected on my own life as I enjoyed the warm sun as it further baked my already brown skin.

I am a true believer in reflection.  In doing so it does put things into their proper perspective.  As the clock of life ticked on Nov. 8, I reached another milestone—50 years of age.  Wow!  Just yesterday I was partying like its 1999 and doggone it was.  Time may fly, but life can seem to go as fast as the speed of sound.

Therefore as I relaxed in the sun, on the beautiful beach on the magnificent island of Oahu my mental DVD player came on and I reflected in increments of 10.

Being born in the early part of the ‘60s, I was too young to know all that was happening in the world-- from JFK, MLK and RFK being assassinated, to the Cuban Missile Crisis to the Civil Rights Movement.  However in 1972 my awareness was peaked with the brutal murder of my 15 year old uncle.  At the age of 10, I started to have an appreciation for life through death.  In 1982 my beloved grandmother was needed in heaven and my appreciation for life increased even more.  Tragically in 1992 my younger sister died in her sleep.  Again that brought forth a greater appreciation for life.

Over the past 20 years I haven’t experienced any other close relatives passing (thank God) but my overall appreciation for life has grown as if it was a planted field and I’m enjoying the harvest.

Life is a blessing.  Life is a gift.  Life is to be treasured.  Life shouldn’t be wasted.  Please don’t let a death be the catalyst for you to appreciate your own life.  Allow the message contained in the above words touch the spirit of life that breathes in each of us.  And for those that missed it—APPRECIATE LIFE!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

7 simple ways to never giving up

John T. spent 48 years of his life in the ‘system.’  At the age of three his drug addicted mother could no longer care for a small child so she sent him to live with her aging and in ill-health mother.  That arrangement lasted for less than a week before social services had to step in.  For the next 11 years, John was a ward of the state bounced from one foster home to another.  When he turned 14, John was sent to juvenile detention for joyriding in a ‘borrowed-without-permission’ automobile. Upon his release at the age of 18 he was able to last two months on the ‘outside’ before committing the crime of assault and battery and that owned him a five year engagement at a state institution for the criminally inclined.  John served the entire term.

At this point one may think that he learned a lesson or maybe had a coming-to-the-lord moment. Not quite.  In fact John quickly met up with several past guests of the state and embarked on a new venture—robbing banks.  Short story even shorter, he was caught and sent away, this time his room was reserved at the federal level.  Twenty years of living in a cage for less than $10,000 earned during his so-called bank robbery spree.

Again he served the entire term.  When he was released John was placed on five years of supervised probation.  Even though he wasn’t any longer in a prison of bars, he was still in captivity albeit on the ‘outside.’

I met John based on an introduction made by one of my life coaching clients.  He had just completed his final year of probation.  For a grown adult male, he didn’t have a clue how to live a productive life.  His greatest fear centered on going back to prison.  And I thought that was a great thing, because if he used that fear as fuel, I believed he was well on his way to beginning to truly live.

He figured that the process would be arduous, long and involve methods that would make his prison stay seem like a walk on the beach during sunset.

Listed below are the seven simple ways I provided John to assist him in not giving up:

1.       Sunday
2.       Monday
3.       Tuesday
4.       Wednesday
5.       Thursday
6.       Friday
7.       Saturday

Yep…that’s it, nothing mystical or magical about it.  Every day is a new day full of potential.  Even though yesterday may have been rough and today is tough, one of the greatest blessings in life is tomorrow. Never give up, never give out and never quit.  You never know where life can lead you, just keep living.