Death can be experienced in many different ways. I know that to be true much more now that I am very close to 50.
But when I was about 21 years old, I saw him die right in front of me. I haven't really talked about it because, well, I didn't really know why I never talked about it until I started really looking and really thinking about it.
The more I thought about it, the more it truly confused me and scared me because I saw myself in him. I was he and he was I. Both Sailors just wanting to serve our country and looking forward with deep conviction to make it back home to next double cheese burger from McD's or Burger King, but most of all to our families.
I remember the feeling being much stronger because I thought about his family. My thoughts went straight to my beautiful wife and I thought about his if he had one because she must mean life for him as mine did for me. I was a newly wed and I had grossly and rightfully so, made her the obsession of my existence. I thought about his children, possibly being fatherless. It brought back memories too painful to endure.
A soldier/sailor goes about his duties and forgets what just happened in front of him-NOT! I have relived that day many days on out. It has given appreciation for life, but I had never had the opportunity to express my own sorrow and immense amount of fear that I felt after that day. I still dream about it, and even though I have tried to meditate it away, the thought of seeing him on the floor lifeless jolts me back to that fateful day. It seems as if though he wasn't the only one that died that day. I think a part of me also left my soul. I think that a certain certainty about me was lost that day. Yes, I have been trying to compensate for it and to maybe find validation for why I am alive, but at the cost of what?
Fear of death? Not in the same way. Just afraid that I could've done more I could've possibly said something to have saved him. But who am I to shape anyone's fate? It was meant to be, that was both our destiny... or was it?
Yes, I'm super proud to know that even though many of you are going through some tough times, maybe bouts with depression due to a loss, a break up, or even a dis-agreement with a loved one, you are still able to lift yourself off of that floor and dust yourself off to go at it again!
Yes, proud to know that you are able to focus on someone or something else when they need your help and compassion even when you think you need it the most.
So very proud that your faith is strong even though it may not seem like it from the outside, but man, do I know what it takes to dig deep into that faith when it seems like the odds are stacked up against you.
I am proud to know that you are willing to listen to words of encouragement from yourself even if you can't take any words from your own family and loved ones during those tough times. Sometimes we just need to be away and that is worthy of being proud about.
Yes, you must take care of you and it is admirable when you do so. The world loves it, I love it and others that need you love it and are proud to know that you stand ready to kick some serious booty when it comes down to it!
Is it normal to ask what normal is? What is normal? Is it okay to act normal, to be normal, to have normal goals?
Do you want to be just normal? Do you want to have normal outcomes or do you want to have spectacular ones instead? Would spectacular outcomes make you feel abnormal? Or would they make you feel accomplished?
As a student, do you want to be a normal average follow the rules and get by type of student or do you want to go for superb and maybe even get the extra credit? What satisfies you? And is normal grades okay for you or is it okay for your normal parents? Are you wanting to be normal so that your parents and the rest of your family thinks of you as a normal person and not an outcast or embarrassment?
Are you ready to be a normal 9 to 5 type of employee? Or would you rather be an above and beyond type of employee who puts in the late hours not because they pay you overtime, but because you love what you do? Normally, most people just put in their 9 to 5 and expect a normal paycheck at the end of a normal two weeks.
Do you want to be a normal spouse, or do you want to be a spouse who is spontaneous and finds ways to spice things up a bit? Or would that be considered abnormal by your better half and or your close intimate friends?
Being normal has a very just here on earth to settle for the normal stuff kind of feeling to it. I would rather prefer to be seen as abnormal taking some risks and doing somethings that go beyond the normal realm of the human normal experience. Its one life to live, so why not live a unique and stupendous type life that is going to leave a mark on this planet for its abnormality!
Have you ever found yourself being pushed to the edge? Many of us have and thank goodness there has been an Angel among us humans here to catch our fall just like she had one today.
Early this evening, my good friend Don Samuels, who is a fabulous school counselor for the San Diego Unified School District, found himself literally trying to persuade this young woman from off the ledge of a bridge. To his dismay, she wouldn't comply so he immediately called 911. The authorities arrived soon after, and they were able to convince her from off the edge of that very high and frightening bridge. What a great ending to this story right now, but time can only tell what will happen to this young lady.
I was very intrigued and inspired by his story and I messaged him to ask him if I could use one of his pictures for my blog. He responded soon after that I could and that he had tears in his eyes as he drove home thinking of what this woman could be experiencing in her life at this time to make her take such a risk. Don has a huge heart for human life and I too felt for that woman through his own empathy.
So have you been driven to that ledge or edge of life? Statistics show that many people actually have, its the shame of being criticized and being shunned that keeps them from admitting it. There is also a religious condemnation and a social taboo attached to such drastic action as wanting to take your own life.
It's interesting because I can admit that I've literally been on that bridge in that picture above many times to get to either Torrey Pines or Del Mar. But just like her, I've also been on a symbolic bridge pushed to edge contemplating whether its worth it or not to go on with this life. I too, like her, had someone there to help me see the best in me and to have faith that the future would get better. It wasn't easy of course, it was a long road to restore some type of self dignity.
For example, a major memory that used to burn me to the core of my soul was parent night my senior year of high school and I had no one to stand with me or by me on that football field. Every other football player had someone with them and I was alone. I knew the community cared about me, but it was a grand reminder that I had come from a broken family and it further reinforced that my existence had little to no meaning. That night, I couldn't be consoled even though my neighbor had scooted over to stand with me and my aunt that raised me showed up after all, but a bit late. My head wasn't in the game and I didn't even want to be there anymore. I actually got hurt that night and I would be out for four games with a strained knee. I still think that if it wasn't for me getting hurt that game, I don't know what I would've done that night. Instead, I was made to feel like a part of something bigger than myself by my coaches, especially coach Vela and coach Pena. Two men that I will always admire. I was given so much love also from my friends and their families while I healed that I felt that I would be doing them a dis-service if I gave up.
I wasn't out of the woods just yet, I still had to do a lot of work on myself in order to break out of the victim mentality in order to become an empowered soul. It took years of re-programming my mind to start truly believing that I was the creator of my own reality.
I know many of you have gone through or are going through some rough times right now, but I can guarantee you that there is something much bigger planned for you because of what you've been put through. It is said that God does not give you anything that he can't carry you through and that is truly the truth! The edge is the edge, but its usually a renewal for you and for all us.
The word "NO" has never ever crossed my mind- has it ever crossed yours? Of course it freaking has, no matter who you are or where you're from, every human being has heard this empowering or dis-powering word.
How can hearing the word too familiar "NO" be dis-empowering? Well, it really is determined on how it's used. When we come into this world, we probably heard our mothers say no to our older siblings, and if we didn't have any, maybe to our daddy's and vice versa. So we already can feel the emotions that go along with a strong no or a soft no. A soft no can go something like this, "Darling, I'm saying no for right now because we are going to find another activity to do instead!" There was no anger associated with the "no"and that person's dignity wasn't compromised. They probably still feel good about being able to do something else.
But in many cases this is usually the normal everyday use of the word "no"! It goes something like this, "I f'n said "no", what part of f'n "no" don't you understand bitch?" Very different scenarios, but the same word is used. A child who hears "no" with anger and or other negative feelings associated with it, will mostly likely feel less than and or not worthy of feeling like they can pursue much of anything because of fear and doubt.
The more anyone hears the word "no, you can't do that, you can't have that, you don't deserve that, you no good for nothing, and no you will never amount to anything", it will cause tremendous self harm in the form of self hate and hate for others.
How can it be empowering? Well, if you think about it, a person focused on their goals is able to say no, but in a way in which makes their listener not feel as they are being controlled or negated. The other party feels that what the other person is doing means a lot to them and they won't be as hurt. And amazingly, this can be applied by children as young as 5 or so.
I have lived both sides of this word "no" and I am totally recommending that you use it with caution with your self, children, spouse, parents, friends, and etc. If we can empower, why not? The choice is yours!
The whole enchilada can be yours if you truly feel that you deserve it! And a side of beans and rice...
I've been learning about what keeps some people from attaining a certain level of success(the whole enchilada) that they want to attain and its a very interesting topic of discovery. Talk about bending your mind a bit. But if you do, you can have much more than just an Enchilada plate!
Yes, you kinda have to be open to listen about yourself as a human being from a creator/spiritual sense or point of view. What the heck does this mean? For those of you who have been doing your spiritual work already, I know you remember the first time you started to flex your mind around this type of talk. And, you don't even have to see it from a religious point of you if you don't want to. Actually, Einstein was a big supporter of humans having the capacity to mold or shape matter. Wowzaaa, what the heck does that mean?
Well, I've been learning and re-learning about the power of the mind and then Baaaam, something just hits you that makes it very clear. Joe Vitale, in his great book "Attract Money Now", hit me right in the forehead about why I wasn't making much progress toward the level of success that I've always wanted. I had to give kudos where kudos is due!
It's always been about mindset, loving yourself-not in an ego way, but appreciative way and you must have no doubt that you deserve everything good coming to you! You must also conquer how you feel about money. Learn and that it is only a tool and the one who possess it is the one who determines how its used. You have got to get okay with this first and then Baaaam, order the whole enchilada!
You've got to chase them the heck down and eventually have faith that you can and will catch them!
Anything is possible- anything! Well, within in reason of course. Meaning, if you were born in another country, your chances of becoming the President of the US are probably as good as Donald Trump's. But in all seriousness, you can literally dream your reality up according to all the meta-physical experts. And if we can think, then we too qualify as meta-physical beings because we are the ones who can recognize and give power to our dreams.
Can our nightmares also come true? You bet your little toocan that they can! Whatever you give attention to is what you will discover appears right before your very eyes. Can you chase your nightmares away? Of course you can, but its going to take some discipline and re-thinking about how you think about stuff. In the end, its only stuff- and the more you make your stuff scarier, the more this ghostly stuff will chase you down and even come get you in your dreams.
The opposite is true! Stop listening to the news before you go to bed and or when you wake up first thing in the morning and you will see that you will start focusing on the positive good stuff that can help accelerate your dreams and make your nightmares a thing of the past. The good news about all of this is that you are the one in control of what you choose to focus on - choose the non scary positive stuff that will give you more good stuff to dream about!
Congratulations! What a significant time in your child's life and in yours! All grown up and ready to take on the challenges of a College or University. But what about the parents? Especially parents that only had that one child and their world revolved around that beautiful child. What is next for them?
What do you really desire and what are you willing to do in order to get it?
I was listening to a story by Erik Thomas, a very well known motivational speaker who blew up on the scene not to long ago, talk about a young man wanting to be as successful as a guru he had met. The guru asked the young man, "Do you really want to know what it takes to be successful?" "Yes, of course!" replied the young man with certainty in his voice. "Are you sure you want to be successful?" asked the guru once again. And once again, the young man replied, "Yes, I am sure, and I am willing to do whatever it takes!" The guru looked at him again and asked one more time, "Are you sure you are willing to do whatever it takes to be successful?" The young man feeling a bit irritated said, "Heck yes, I am totally surer than sure Mr. guru!" "Ok!", replied the guru. "Meet me at the Beach at 6:am tomorrow morning, no questions asked!" "Yes sir, I will be there!" replied the young man.
The next morning, the guru had already been waiting for the young man since five in the morning as he looked at his watch and saw him approaching. It was about a quarter til 6am. "Goodmorning!" said the young man enthusiastically as he stood there proud in his Sunday Suit. "It's a very good morning," replied the guru. "Remember, no questions just do as I ask and you will have the key to being very successful!" "Yes sir!" replied the young man. The guru then looked toward the ocean and asked the young man to follow him. "No questions, remember!" stated the guru once more. The young man followed as they were about 20 feet from the water line. The young man thought that maybe the guru wanted to impart in him a lesson that the Beach had to offer and that maybe they were going to wait for other people to join them. To his surprise and dismay, the guru did not stop at the shore's edge, instead he continued walking into the water. "What the heck is going on?" thought the young man. I didn't come to learn how to swim as he threw off his shoes before going into the water. He promised no questions asked, so he continued to follow the guru. Soon they were knee high, then waist high. The young man knew how to swim, so he wasn't too worried, he was more worried about his suit getting damaged. Keeping to his word, he just followed along and did what the guru asked. "Just a bit further out, " said the guru.
By this time, they were in an area in where they had to tread the water because they could no longer touch the ocean floor. Just then, when the young man was trying to elude a wave, the guru grabbed him by the head and pushed him down further into the water. He held him there as the young man fought for air, fought for freedom, and fought to stay alive. When the guru noticed that the young man was going limp due to lack of air, he pulled him up and allowed him to breathe again. The young man was angry and confused as he got his senses back and swam back to the shore line. Once there, the young man yelled out to the guru as he walked toward him from the ocean, "What in the flying F___ is wrong with you? You could've killed me!" The guru simply looked at him and said, "You promised no questions!" "Yes, I know, but I didn't think you were going to try and kill me!" he replied in agony. "Yes, I know you're upset, but tell me one thing-what was the only thing you wanted to do while you were under the water?" replied the guru. "What? breathe of course!" said the young man still holding his chest. "And what were you willing to do in order to breathe?" asked the guru. "Anything and everything!" said the young man. "That is the ultimate key, until you want to succeed as bad as you wanted to breathe when you were down in that ocean water, then you will be successful!" The guru looked at him, looked at the ocean and then started waking away! The young man fell to the sand and realized the grand lesson that he had just learned and became highly grateful.
Are we where we want to be because we are willing to do anything for the level of success that we want to attain? Are we willing to turn off the TV fora few hours, wake up a little earlier, plan ahead for the upcoming day, meditate, eat healthy, and continue to look at our goals? Are we doing everything it takes to see your children get the best care, setting standards at work, and become productive citizens in the neighborhood? Well, if it is that important to you like it is to breathe, then you will move in the direction of attaining that goal. I don't think that you have to be super obsessive at first, because if you are new to wanting to change certain behaviors, then it might take you a couple of tries as first. But I promise that if you stick with it, especially for more than 30 days, you will be amazed at the level of success that you will have!
Today, i took a stroll through the Old Poway Park where I enjoy the fresh air, beautiful trees, and tranquility. In all of this, I was thinking about my year long experience living in my beloved Valley in South Texas and how many different friends I made just because I spoke a second language. I thought about the students and parents that I was able to serve maybe just a bit better because I understood their language. I was really missing my time in the Rio Grande Valley!
Just then, I saw a man sitting by himself in one of the Old Poway park benches and I approached him. I noticed that he was a Mexican native and I greeted him in Spanish, "Buenos Dias". He smiled and immediately answered back, "Buenos dias, como esta usted?" I could've continued walking, but I was so happy to have this person of my own native country speaking to me taking me back to the Valley for at least a few minutes. Needless to say, I made a new friend, his name is Rufino.
Have you ever just stopped to think about how other cultures communicate in their language and have this amazing ability to make sense of the sounds that they are producing. It's very easy to dismiss the complexity of what it takes for the mind to be able to recognize sounds, turn them into code, and then blend them to create a way of effectively communicating with each other. This is pure magic!
From a professional stand point, it is essential that we are familiar with the language and culture where someone is from in order to fully understand their unique circumstances and situations. I've been around the Filipino culture for over 29 years and I am blessed that I have picked up on their expressions, tonality, and delivery of language. I am grateful that my children are also being exposed to these languages, for it will be of benefit to them in their own journeys as it has been for mine.
I look forward to learning another language and experiencing more magical moments.
What do you find yourself mostly thinking about? How often do you think about things? And do you wonder why we try to avoid not thinking about certain things? I'm sure you know that thinking is doing something, it is a form of action that many people engage in and it is exactly what is creating your thoughts, and what your thoughts are focused on is exactly what will result in your reality whether good or bad, positive or negative, or simply right or wrong. Life will tell you by the way you feel! You will get more of the things that you think about no matter how you think about them because the Universe will hear how you feel about it.
An example to paint the picture a little clearer; picture yourself having to stand up and speak in front of a large crowd of people on the spot without having any time to prepare for whatever you're going to say. How does this thought make you feel? Be super honest with yourself and really think about what thoughts went through your mind. As for me, I know that several years ago, I would have started sweating profusely and trembling at the thought. I would slur and stumble over my words because the thoughts that were predominantly coming to me at that time was shame and failure. The fear of looking and sounding stupid usually overtook me and made me want to flee any public speaking activities. I recall having to speak in front of class more and more often in College and I hated it with a passion. It was that hate that drove my thoughts that drove my thinking and it continued that vicious cycle of being super uncomfortable about this topic. In my mind, I would even think about how I could hurt that someone that laughed at me or made me feel dumb. I also covered it up by using humor, trying at times too hard to make them laugh so that they wouldn't take me too serious. I know many of you have also done this as well and have your own horror stories about being asked to speak in public.
But today, after so much self work and re-framing my thoughts about public speaking, I am able to do it on the spot without having all of the ill effects as before and so can you. I do still get a bit nervous, but once I turn it into a thought of service and of contribution, I quickly recover and I am able to speak to the topic at hand with gusto and passion. Remember, it did not happen over night, it took me years of self work and self discovery changing what and how I thought about me and who I was, who I was pleasing, and the real truth about fear. Re-framing, or looking at how you see things different is within your control. Yes, after so much research and practice, I found that we do have the absolute power over how we want to create and accept the thoughts that we think. Without the ability to form these thoughts, our bodies would be highly robotic and not so fluid or theatrical. We wouldn't be able to show any type of discomfort or immense confidence if we weren't able to give feelings to our thoughts.
So yes, you are continuously creating your feelings by the thoughts that you choose or have been programmed to think. If you continue to see bad things come into your life, you must use your ability to question why this is. You must say, "Hey, wait a minute, if these are my thoughts and I have control over them, then why am I sitting here with a bottle of whisky trying to escape my reality?" This is why many people try to learn different ways of holding down, dealing with, or accepting their own realities. They feel that they don't have the power over their lives, that they will remain victims of this society and will continue to allow society to direct their lives. Many will not know that they have always had the power to empower themselves to create the type of life worth living and being awake for.
Yes, another Father's Day has arrived, or nearly arrived for that matter! As a young daddy, I often wondered like man fathers do, if I was doing an okay job with my children and then my oldest hits me with a heart loving compliment a few day ago that melts all of my doubt away!
I am so proud to share my daughter's comments with you not to impress you, but to impress upon you that anyone can attain the level of Love and communication with their children if you're willing to put in the necessary time and effort! It's all very worth it!
From Jasmine Mendoza Sweeney- and yes, she is talking about Me:
"Award to father of the year (for the 21st year in a row) goes to..!!
I can't illustrate how perfectly you raised the three of us. Always giving us room for growth, self reflection and self expression helped the 3-J's blossom into who we were genuinely supposed to become. I'd be far, far away from the path I'm on now if it weren't for our hour long debates.
Most kids resent their parents for molding them the way that they did, but I am the person I want to be because of the freedom, trust and love you put into us (but especially me- I know I was a special case ;) ).
But that isn't well enough of a compliment- I admire you beyond that. You have proven to me over and over that anyone can change the path that they brought themselves to- that man holds all power within himself. That if you believed in something, even materialistic, you could receive it, if you were willing to genuinely ask.
You taught me that the universe is mine, and for that I can't express how beautiful my life is going to be. I already have everything I want and more."
Of course, Daddy duties aren't ever over! Like a beautiful garden, we must always tend to all the necessary details in order to have our garden bloom accordingly. Children are from your seed, and no one else in the whole wide world can love them how you have the potential too. No one else can raise them like you have the potential too. If true Love emanates from us and we are blessed to give life to a child, a mirror of our selves, then we must ensure that the child understands and Loves because you Loved him or her.
If you have any questions or would like any parenting tips, I am always available for consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With Love and Happy Father's Day - even to the single moms/or care givers that share that responsibility,
Embracing change can be a Bit of a Bitchin situation for some. Yes, depending on what change you are going through, the louder more obscene things can get before they get any better. But despite the challenges that you may face while facing massive stupid change right in the face, there's always that knowing that things are going to be okay or that things just better freaking be okay!
You will do whatever it takes to move yourself toward taking action and making things right immediately. It will be having to plan and having a plan B and then even a plan C and D. It might even take something bigger than yourself to do if for, yes, like your children having a place to sleep and some food to eat. That is called your reason, your why you have to move toward action right now!
I believe that that is why life keeps on challenging us and keeps reminding us that we have greatness within. Yes, every darn guru or so called guru talks about the power within ourselves. " Look inside, not at the outside circumstances" they say, and as much as that makes little to no sense at first, try it before you mis-judge it and dismiss it. I have found that the more I look within in a meditative way, the more I feel that I too deserve what the abundant universe has to offer.
Why is this important you may ask, well- when faced with massive life challenging change and you feel empowered rather than stressed out and depressed, it helps soften the fears and it reminds you that you are always connected to the one who is your infinite supplier! Yes, the Universal power- the divine- the all knowing- the infinite! This makes any type of change much less unbearable and much more endurable and lovable. Yes, you will get a sense of gratitude for the beauty of life like no other and you will want to share your gratitude with everyone.
Change is inevitable- embrace it! I do every time and it feels sooooo goooooood!