The Positive

People love to complain. All week I have been hearing how someone’s boss is an idiot, someone did somebody wrong and they are so much smarter than that other person and blah blah blah.

Today is a day of thanks and I’ve already heard people complaining. Just stop. Simply stop and listen to yourself. You are complaining about everyone else, but it just may be that you are your own problem.

Take today and give thanks. Find something you are happy about and that you are thankful for having in your life. Focus on that today. Really think about how it makes you feel. Take in that feeling and enjoy it today. And tonight when you go to bed with a warm and fuzzy feeling I want you to think about at least one more thing you are thankful for and I want you to think about that tomorrow. And then do this again over and over.

At least once a day, be thankful for something. This will help you begin to take away the negativity in your thought process. Stop dwelling on the past, that happened already, you can’t change it. Stop dwelling on what went wrong, whatever it is it can be fixed. Don’t dwell on the negative, it will just make you upset. Instead, dwell on the positive. My dad said that last night. This is the best advice I can give. Simply dwell on the positive.

Be thankful, have gratitude and dwell on the positive.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Just Be Nice

Lately I’ve been a little scattered and honestly a little lost.  I’m sure many others feel this way as well, and I’m not quite sure why but I have some ideas.

For a very long time my world existed of needing other people to like what I do in order to make a living.  I needed their approval in order to be able to pay my rent.  Not directly but definitely indirectly.  And I started noticing how many of us have jobs like that.  Providing a service used to be different.  And it is changing all of the time, especially with the use of social media.  People I’ve never heard of or even seen anywhere before are now mini celebrities based on how many people follow them on Instagram!

Personally, I’m not craving that type of attention.  I love playing music, I love taking photos of people, I love working with my hands.  I love helping others and I love doing it simply because I can.  Maybe I’ve gone off of the deep end as I simply don’t care about money.  I know I need it, but it is such a waste of time trying to get it.  And I don’t want to come off as some dirty hippie, but we don’t need it, the earth does provide for us.

This past election year (oh shit here comes the political talk) has got me really messed up.  It was amazing to see how people were very against helping their fellow humans.  I saw a talk where a woman scolded Bernie Sanders and said he lost her vote when she heard about “free college for everyone.”  What really shocked me was her lack of compassion.  The second shock was that she had no clue what the plan was about but she was just against it because “she wasn’t going to pay for that.”  But why are you against helping each other?  If it was free to you would you want it?  It isn’t like it is open to a D student, they actually have to get accepted into school and keep up their grades and have to stay in the state after graduation as many years as it took to graduate therefore helping the economy of the state which paid for their education.  It is more of a pay it forward plan rather than a free ride to all.  But I don’t want to get into politics, this was just one point I was trying to make about how we are so not willing to help others even if they deserve it.

I just found it a little ironic how this woman felt entitled to everything she had, but said that anyone who wanted a free education was just self entitled and didn’t want to work for anything.  This is sad to me.  Why do we have to hold others back to feel better about ourselves?  This shows how something is definitely lacking in our society and how we put money and status above actual human connection.

I remember the phrase “respect your elders.” But something has changed because some of our elders are not worthy of anyone’s respect.  Here is a very vague example, I’m just pulling this one out of thin air.  Back in the day, a man would tip his hat to a woman of any age out of respect.  He would stand when she entered the room out of respect for a lady.  This wasn’t sexism, this was respect which was taught to him by his mother in most cases.  It was also called manners.  Hence, manners are a way a person shows respect for another person.  But back to my point….

There were still young men who would cat-call women, say inappropriate things and be rude, hormones do really stupid things to some people.  But if there was a true man/gentleman around, that man would not be afraid to confront these idiots and defend the woman who was being harassed.  This didn’t happen because she needed his help, this happened because people were taught to respect others and to show respect for others.

For years I had the same bank.  Every so often I would see this elderly man leaving the bank and I would hold the door for him.  I don’t know how many times this happened as we always seemed to have the same banking hours.  But one time he actually stopped and shook my hand and said to me “thank you, I have seen you open the door for me, for many others and you always have a smile on your face and are always so kind.”  Honestly, this meant the world to me, just to make someone happy by simply being kind.  I told him you’re welcome and we had a nice brief chat.  And it is moments like these which have me so confused.  Why do I get so much joy out of simply being nice to others?  I wish I could market this and turn this into my day job!

But as I get older I see less and less of this behavior happening.  I saw an article on a news site which talked about a lack of a certain type of religious values which is why this is happening and I couldn’t disagree more.  Look, religion doesn’t make you a good person, in some cases it gives a bad person an excuse to pretend to be good to only be bad.  But just like politics I’m going to keep this one on the down low for now.  But I will say this.  True religion and spirituality teaches love, tolerance and compassion.  If you are lacking any of these things, it is on you, not your religious beliefs or lack thereof.

For the record I am still a lot lost.  I am still trying to figure it all (or at least some of it) out.  But I don’t think that is the answer.  This life is my own personal journey and I am still very unclear of what my destination in.  This post isn’t about finding answers, it is more of letting someone else know that I don’t have it all figured out either.  I am just as lost as you.  This is just my own little path of trying to help those I can, mostly because I enjoy it, and hopefully I keep on getting to meet some cool people along the way.

I don’t know what I am teaching here, maybe it is about manners and respect.  Maybe if we all just try to do something nice at least once a day I might not feel so lost anymore.  I’d like to see more people just be nice.  Is that so wrong?

Stars

Where does it all begin?  Honestly I don’t have a clue!  This is a question which has been asked for generations.  Many have tried to explain it all in books, in religion, in theory and science has even tried to prove the Big Bang theory.


But where did it all start? This is what I get asked a lot. I don’t know.  All I try to do is figure out where I may be going later this week.  

This may sound like a cop out or something like that, but really I don’t have the answer.  Plus it all began so long ago that I’m not really sure if it matters?  Maybe this isn’t the most profound answer possible, but it is true.

What matters more? What happens to us today or what has already happened so many years ago?  One of these things is out of our control, the other, well not so much. 

I often go out and look up to the stars and think about my place in this universe. I have no clue what it is by the way. I know I’m a decent photographer and carpenter, I’ve made some good friends and met some amazing people. Maybe the stars aren’t talking to me yet or maybe I don’t understand just yet.


It’s okay to not have it all figured out.  We don’t have to have it all figured out.  My goal is to stay positive. Be a good person and to help those I can. It’s pretty simple, the rest may take a while to figure out. For now I’ll focus on what I can have some control over. 😉

Reclaimed

One thing that has become a habit of mine is reclaiming wood for new projects. I’ve built book shelves, magazine racks, counters and many more small items from reclaimed lumber. 

This is wood which is meant for the dump.  It is in perfectly good condition but it has been used before so people just don’t want it.  This doesn’t make any sense to me.  But this is the type of society we live in.We use things and throw them away.  It becomes so common that we even do this with friendship and relationships. We live in a disposable world, but do we really?


Do you want to be disposable to someone else?  Would you want someone thinking of your prized possessions as garbage? Or if something you worked hard on and built with your own hands suddenly became garbage how would that make you feel? 

I repurpose items because I don’t like waste.  This is the same reason I cherish friends and the people in my life.  There have been bad people, but I have learned lessons from them. The bad seem to exit themselves from my life, this keeps me from having to throw them away.  

There is also one key element to the task of repurposing anything.  It means to find a new purpose.  It allows you to start again.  Maybe we all need a little repurposing every now and then? 

Good Times

I feel like starting a journal again.  Probably a lot of randomness, some philosophy, some spirituality, lots of stories and just good vibes.  I like this blog, it is something I feel brings me a lot of positive energy in my own life.  It keeps me centered on where I want to be and what I want to be doing.

At first (when I started this blog) I had actually wanted to start a brick and mortar church only, not so much an internet presence, but now I kind of feel like the internet is where this church belongs.  There are many reasons why, some of which are kind of weird, like some of the people who wish to join and want my home address and want to move in…. not kidding.

But I still like the random emails I get, some messages on Instagram and I have met some very cool people along the way.

Today I was thinking about a photo session I had years ago.  I was contacted via Facebook from a very successful model.  The funny thing was that I had met her briefly before.  She was a fashion model who also happened to pose for Playboy and actually became the Playmate of The Year in 2010.  Honestly I didn’t know what to expect.  I had photographed many Playboy models before, but she seemed more chill and just wanted some photos that showed who she was.

I think my favorite part of the shoot was when we went to the beach.  The beach always seems to bring out the chill vibes and the natural personality in people.  It screams freedom to be who you are and to release your inner child again.  At least that is what it does for me.

But this shoot went really well, we talked about life and relationships and we went our separate ways.  It was a very positive experience and I feel like I got to know the person, not just the model.  This is why I love what I get to do.  I get to photograph people that I would never have met before.  I get to talk to them and see how they view the world.  I kind of want to add more of my photography of people, places and things to this site and dive more into the philosophical ideologies I have rolling around in my head.

I have had many good days in my life, I’m just here to enjoy the good times and I hope you all have many more good days ahead!

My Favorite Mistakes

I slip up all the time.  I have so many flaws it is crazy to think about them all!  I do stupid things all of the time, I don’t consider myself a stupid person I just do stupid things.  The biggest “problem” which I don’t really feel is the right word, but it would be that I do all of these stupid things and mistakes with a smile on my face.  I really enjoy my mistakes.

One thing I always remind myself is that nobody is perfect.  Especially me! Not being perfect is an incredible gift of being human.  We get to experience something new all of the time.  We get to mess up and try again.  We always get at least one second chance.

Recently a friend messed up, she quit her job in a really bad way.  Not like ruin the company bad, but in a way where she may not get a good reference from this job so she may not want to put it on her list of places she has worked.  She was frustrated and just quit via text message right before her shift.  The thing is, she isn’t a bad person, she just does stupid things.  She feels bad because this one is on her, but it is okay, she woke up again today and got to experience another wonderful day of life.

These are life lessons.  Don’t beat yourself up, don’t get mad at that person who just cut you off on the road, they have their own issues going on.  You’re not alone in messing up, we all do it.  We all drive a little bad every now and then (some more than others) we all make bad decisions which affect others.  There is a bumper sticker which says it best, “Shit Happens.”

Think about this for a minute, and I really do mean think about this.  There are billions of people on this planet and I don’t think there are two people who think the exact same thing about everything.  My wife and I have been together 20 years and we have an amazing relationship, we always disagree!  But I have learned so much by being with her and I wouldn’t change a thing!  I am friends with many different types of people.  I have a friend who is a very closed minded Atheist, another who is a very open minded Atheist.  One who is a practicing Wiccan Witch and another who is a Youth Pastor in the Philippines.  These are all people who I do not believe in the same beliefs as but I am deeply inspired by.  We can all exist together, we can all be wrong together.  We can all be right together.  Maybe there are so many different religions because we need to learn different lessons in life?  We all exist for a reason, even if you think you don’t, you do inspire someone in your life.  Maybe this is your reason.

My point in all of this rambling, stop trying to be perfect.  Don’t try to be what others think you should be.  Just be you because you are perfect the way you are, with all of your flaws and with all of your mistakes.  Maybe you make mistakes because you parents need to learn how to set boundaries with you?  Maybe you’re actually doing them a favor?  A great way to look at it if you’re currently grounded!

There are so many other topics I want to bring up in this post but I feel it would become more of a novel rather than a blog post.  I want to leave you with this, if you’ve made it this far.  Be happy with yourself, even for just a moment.  Look at yourself in the mirror and say “I love you, you idiot.” Even if you don’t mean it right now, just do it, I triple dog dare you!  Love who you are, enjoy every mistake you make and embrace the experience.  May you wake up tomorrow to make another mistake and to smile and to laugh out loud!