Everyone Has Bad Days

We all have bad days.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Shit, does in fact, happen.  How we react to all of this can affect how everyone involved feels about what is going on.  There is are two people who work at the grocery store I go to who seem to have a negative vibe about them.  One is really miserable, I can ask him 100 times how he is doing and he will never respond and will just ask me if I want a bag today.  That’s it, not even a single attempt to be social or even care about a single customer coming through his line.  I feel bad that he is so miserable, but he is probably doing it to himself because I’ve seen several people attempt to be nice to him and he just deflects it and ignores them.

Another woman, who wash my cashier last night.  She has been rude to my wife, she has snapped at people and has bad days a lot.  Last night I simply asked her, “how are you doing tonight?”  She said she was happy to be off in an hour and that tomorrow (now today) is her day off.  She was looking forward to having a day to herself.  I just listened to her and let her talk about what she wanted to do today.  As I left she told me to have a nice night and I told her to enjoy her day off.  She had a genuine smile on her face.  This was the first time I think I had seen her smile in the two years I have been going to this store.

The difference wasn’t me.  She was open to anyone who would listen to her.  Maybe nobody listens to her in her life?  Or maybe the timing was just right.  But the difference in the reactions of both people show that we can have a bad day, or we can predetermine a bad day.  If you go into work with a negative attitude your day is going to be slow and you are going to hate going to work.  As I always say, life is short, don’t waste your years feeling terrible about a job you have or about a relationship you’re in.

Maddy

One thing I love to do is smile at strangers I pass on the street and say hello or hi or how are you?  About half of the people look at me like I’m nuts!  They act like I must be crazy because I’m looking at them and talking to them.  The funny thing is that back in the day, this was simply called having manners.

A favorite movie of mine, kind of a guilty pleasure movie, is “Blast From The Past”.  It is a silly movie about a family who locked themselves in an underground bunker for 34 years and their son (played by Brendan Fraser) goes out into the world for the first time.  It shows the good side of the generation gap.  He was raised by his 1950’s parents.  But my point is that there is one line in the movie where they are talking about manners.  One character says how Adam (Brendan Fraser) said to him that “Manners are how we show other people we respect them.”  His response was something like “I always thought it was what snooty people did at dinner parties.”

The fact is, manners really are just showing respect for other people, and actually for yourself.  Holding a door open for someone, saying hello, thank you or just greeting them when they walk through the door are simple ways of acknowledging them.  I don’t do these things to show I have manners, I do these things because they make me feel better as a person.

This brings me back to the man who works at the grocery store.  I have seen him there for a year or so.  If I end up in his line I will still ask him how he is doing, maybe one day he will answer me.  But I’m not going to stop being nice to him.  If he doesn’t want to accept it that is on him.  But I won’t be rude back because it accomplishes nothing for me.  I don’t have a desire to be his friend, hang out or anything.  But I would like to see him happy.  I would like to see everyone happy, it makes life a lot better when you’re surrounded by happy people.

So just remember, we all have bad days.  Would you want someone to judge you only based on your worst day?  When someone is having a bad day, cut them some slack, throw them a smile, buy them a coffee or just ask them how they are doing.  If they don’t respond, well you did what you could, don’t let their bad day turn into yours.

Spread the positive vibes, believe it or not, it really can make someone’s day a little better.  One smile at a time. 🙂

Utopia

If any of you have ever seen the movie Wanderlust, well I am a lot like Alan Alda’s character.  I am the old hippie guy who just kind of runs the place.  But, while I still pursue this healthier lifestyle, still believe we are all connected and really want to better the planet.  I really need to get out every now and then and have a steak dinner at the local diner.  Usually not a steak, but you get my meaning.

The steak is a metaphor for taking everything in moderation.  We will probably never have a perfect society, there are too many people and we all have different opinions on everything.  The closest we will probably ever come to Utopia is only if we can decide to live together in peace and coexist.

If you want to be a vegan, go for it, if you eat meat, well that is your choice as well.  Personally I hate the meat industry, but every now and then I do crave a burger.  I’m not perfect, nor will I ever say I am.  But as humans we are not meant to be perfect.  If we were perfect we wouldn’t make mistakes, we wouldn’t learn from them and we wouldn’t grow.  Perfection may just be unobtainable for us.  And maybe it is meant to be that way?

Nicole

If we start to accept our faults maybe we can start to overcome some of them.  As much as I try I don’t think I’ll ever become a full vegan.  I honestly don’t believe in extremes and I do believe humans are omnivores, so eating meat is part of our diet.  But like I said, I just hate the meat industry and the way animals are treated.  This is where my true conflicting thoughts are at the moment.

I also tend to run off topic a lot, this is where I am like his character again.  I also lose things that are important, like deeds to a house, titles to cars, cash, and the list goes on.  But I always remember my friends.  So maybe I don’t have a concern with what really isn’t important to me, maybe I just like to focus on what is important?

I’m rambling a little here, but only to say this.  None of us are perfect.  Please don’t expect others to live up to your standards or to anyone else’s.  If we all do our best to accept others for who they are, maybe we have a chance at making some long lasting advances on this little blue dot we all call home.  We do live together, we should always try to find and make peace with each other.

Just some random thoughts for the day….. 🙂

It’s Up To You

I will be the first one to admit that having fun and enjoying every moment of your life should be a priority.  But just because you wish to avoid responsibility doesn’t mean you cannot be held accountable for your own actions.  I say this based off of a recent conversation I had with someone fairly close to me.  They wanted to blame others for something which was assumed by themselves.  Blaming others for your misunderstanding and your own lack of wanting to read the fine print is simply pointing the finger and not wanting to take fault for your own actions, or lack of action.

If you want something in life, you have to make the effort to make it happen.  You cannot just sit around and wait for opportunity to strike while you are sitting in your bedroom goofing off!  Like I stated above, I am all about having fun and always up for a good time, but do you really think I could run my business, network with people, set up shoots, mentor my students and run this site if I waited for other people to do it for me?  No way!  I have to hustle and make things happen.

Nicole

Avoid responsibility all you can, I am all for this, life isn’t about working and paying bills.  But don’t blame others for your shortcomings.  Especially if you have every opportunity available to you!  Accountability and responsibility are two totally different things.  Hold yourself accountable.  Be proud of who you are.  If you’re a slacker, you are a slacker by your own doing.  Your level of education does not dictate how intelligent you are.  You cannot let others tell you who you are and you cannot blame others for you not being who you want to be.

Life isn’t perfect, please don’t expect it to be.  We will all have ups and downs.  But don’t blame others for your own unhappiness.  If you are unhappy you really need to take a step back and examine your life.  I was unhappy for a long time, longer than I had realized, and I too was blaming the situation and not holding myself accountable.  So I am not speaking about this topic without direct experience!  I needed to step back and say to myself (out loud) I am only allowing the positive in my life, I am only going to look at everything from a positive point of view.  And I am not kidding when I say that this changed my life.

Some people say allow Jesus into your heart, others say accept God’s will and that he has a plan for you, and this is great if that works for you.  But for me, positive vibes worked.  I started thinking about how my reaction to something would affect my wife’s reaction, I was somewhat in control of how positive or negative something could be.  I started thinking about all of these things before acting on impulse and my world started to change for the better.  I also noticed that I no longer had to think about how to think positively, it was just happening.  I had allowed myself to be unhappy and to allow the negative vibes in.  It was all on me, and by changing my outlook I had changed my life and became very happy again.

This is why I wish this unnamed person who is close to me would start to appreciate the world they live in, the only reason they are unhappy is all their own doing.  Life is actually very good for them, I wish they could just see it.  I’ll still keep trying to help, but if someone won’t accept your help or refuses to make any positive changes to their life, there isn’t much else I can do.  I can just be me, do my best being me and be there when or if they ever ask for help. I wish them the best, but I’m still focusing on the positive and I cannot let their negativity bring me down.

Stay positive, stay gold, and always embrace each and every day with a joyful ambition of no responsibilities and total freedom! 🙂

Friends

There are many friendships you make in your lifetime, some will outlast others and some you may honestly wish would simply just fade away.  But the good ones, you want to keep those.  For some reason, many years ago, I remember talking with Robyn on a networking site, she was an aspiring model and we really seemed to get along on a creative thinking type of level.  We ended up working together many times and eventually I hired her as my assistant.

One day she brought her friend, Kelly, with her to a photo shoot.  These two were such great friends, as an outsider who knew one of them I could tell they had a bond that was true and formed because they just connected and got each other.  This photo was taken years ago, but they still have this friendship today even though they live on opposite sides of the country now.

Robyn and Kelly

I saw them both a few months ago at Robyn’s sister’s wedding.  I felt like time had stood still.  It was just like it was back when they came into my studio so many years ago.  Maybe I’m feeling nostalgic but it made me feel good seeing that they were still so close, still drinking wine together and still acting the same connected way.

When I see good friendships it also reminds me of relationships.  You can’t force these things.  The best types of relationships are those which happen naturally and more or less take on a life of their own.  My wife has a friend like this.  They don’t really share friends with each other, but when the two of them are together there is a true connection.

Whether they are next door, down the street, across town or across the country.  Friends are important and I can guarantee you that if you were to reach out to an old friend today for absolutely no other reason than to just say “hi” they would love it.  And I am pretty sure you would too!  Connect, reconnect or go grab a beer or glass of wine together, or coffee if you do not partake in adult beverages.  But take the time out to be a friend today.  Life is short, enjoy these little moments because these memories are what you will hold close for a lifetime.  Whatever is on TV can wait, life is happening all around you, be sure to share it with others.

Sunday Service

I have been thinking about how to go about building up The Church of Positive Vibes.  Honestly, I’m not sure if I want to have a standing structure as a place of worship like all other churches.  For now I’ve met with people at my home, at a coffee shop or just over the internet.  I was almost wondering if The Church of Positive Vibes is really anywhere we choose for it to be.  Since we are all connected, why do we really have to go somewhere to be connected?  Sure maybe once in a while, but maybe a monthly church service?  I don’t think we need to pray to the universe 3 times a week!

I am planning on several outings in the near future.  Meet ups where we go camping, meet out in the middle of the desert or even at a huge festival!  Maybe have small service at my home on Sundays or Wednesdays.  Or both, kind of pool party church service with weed and a hot tub.  Maybe even a BBQ?

This little blog has been my escape, it has been my rational to who I am, have been and where I want to be.  This is the whole idea behind positive vibes.  It is about accepting who you are, who you have been and figuring out who you want to be.  None of us have all of the answers and life does change.  I am currently finding ways to continue to be the artist I have always wanted to be along with staying away from the negativity which has always brought me down.  Part of this is knowing who to work with and who to stay away from.  I’m closing certain doors in my life, I think we all need to do this from time to time.  It is hard to say goodbye to what we know for any uncertainty, but this is what I have been needing to do.

Amanda

Instead of cutting everyone and everything off in the industry I once called my life.  At least my photographer life.  I am taking baby steps.  I am making slow changes, kind of the way I started to eat better and introduce more vegan and vegetarian options into my life.  Instead of just cutting out meat and animal products, I am exploring vegan foods that I like.  I am now choosing to eat foods that I like better than the animal based products.  This way I am not going cold turkey, I am making subtle changes to my life which will benefit me in the long run.  It is the same with my photography and music career.  I am making small changes of things I know I will not miss and people I no longer wish to work with and styles of work I no longer wish to book.  Elimination of negative.  One tiny bit at a time.

This is something I like to do with every part of my life.  I am meeting new positive people, I am finding ways to focus on the positive all the time.  I still get pissy, especially when driving in Palm Springs, if you live here you fully understand!  But now I just remind myself that in the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t really matter so don’t let it get to you.  I drive on the slow side, let people pass me by and I watch out for the bad drivers.  I saw a really bad accident (again) yesterday.  It was on the road I travel every day, nobody died, but it was a severe collision.  This is when I put things into perspective, that could have been me if I didn’t slow down, didn’t stay calm and if I was fixated on the negative.

I can only control how I feel about things.  I cannot control other people or what they say, do or think.  I can only do me.  This is where it starts and where it ends.  Realizing this is something that will help you on your path to positive thinking.  Everything is in my control.  So I choose to be positive, because I would also have to choose to be negative. I am the leader of my own path at this point.  It has taken me many years to discover this.  And now I just need to choose whether or not to hold Sunday services.  It seems like such an easy thing to be thinking about, there are so many bigger problems in the world.  Maybe I’ll start holding them at the first of the year, just to give the option of a positive place for like minded people to have a place to go.

Feel free to email me if you’d like to join us! info@thechurchofpositivevibes.com

Open Door Policy

I can’t decide if one of my biggest flaws is that I trust people too easily or if this is one of my biggest assets.  With staying open to the whole positive vibes thing I have going on here it is easy for people to contact me and then, for some reason they love to try to troll me into something weird.

I never let it get out of hand or go to far, but I get some really weird people contacting me.  But then I get some really amazing people who reach out.  I was instagramming the other night and a young photographer hit me up asking what The Church of Positive Vibes is all about.  I of course told them and hopefully one day soon they will be stopping by for a visit, or a prolonged stay, who knows?

Trusting people is something I like to do.  I like having faith in people, I know this is a great way to be let down, but when you are right you can end up meeting some wonderful new friends.  I remember about a year and a half ago I got a really forward email from this woman.  She was part of a cult back in the day and was all about sexual exploration.  All I can say is that when she said she was sending me a video that she had sent to her friend, it was a lot more than I had expected! I should have probably known better, but I was honestly expecting just a typical skype type of video, not undressing in the bathroom! But its all good, she ended up being pretty cool.  Never met her in person, but she was pretty cool via email.

I guess when you have open doors you definitely have to keep an open mind, and a really good filter!  I am sure I will get more people who are a little outside of the norm, but what do I think I am?  I’m a hippie born 20 years too late.  I completely missed the 60’s and my opportunity to purchase cheap land for my commune has long since past.  But I still have hope, and with all of the new friends I have met I am very optimistic about where this little church in the middle of the desert is headed!

Olivia and Teddy

We may be small with just a handful of members, but we are big in spirit and all about positive vibes and good times! And we have a giant teddy bear!

Temporary

I was cleaning up around the house tonight and my desk was a disaster!  I can’t remember the last time it was this bad.  So I started cleaning up and I started throwing away old papers and junk mail that was on my desk.  Somehow one of my boxes of personal belongings had been emptied out on my desk, I think I remember going through this box but I totally forgot to put everything away.  In this pile of random stuff I came across a newspaper I had saved 16 years ago.  It had one of my best friend’s orbituaries in it.  It was one of those moments when you just had to look one more time.

It’s funny how someone who you knew for such a brief time out of your total existence can have such a huge impact on your life.  This was someone who got me as much as I got them.  We just understood.  For some reason there was no wall between us.  A rare thing to happen in any lifetime.  Literally no walls.

For years I would think of her and it really left a hole inside of me.  Certain songs I had written reminded me of her even though they weren’t about her.  It was weird, I had realized that she had been my muse, my best friend and so much more over the 6 years we were close.

Today, seeing her photo again, it was the first time I truly felt at peace with her passing.  Out of nowhere I just said out loud, “thank you for the time we had.”  I don’t know if this means anything of how I feel, but it still hits me.  I have lost many friends over the years, but this one is something different.  Even writing this now, it hits me hard.

People have asked me about our relationship, and no it was never romantic.  It was just a true friendship, sometimes bigger than either of us could handle.  I remember hanging out with her one night.  I dropped by where she worked after her shift.  We had a great time and she walked me out to my truck.  I don’t remember what she said to me or what I said to her.  I just remember her walking away.  I wanted to reach out to her so bad at that moment.  It was as if I knew it was the last time I would see her.

I even wrote in my goodbye song to her, “If only I said your name when you walked away, maybe you’d be here and I wouldn’t be alone today.” It was about this very moment in time.

All I know is that I am a better person because of her.  I am better off for ever knowing her.  And seriously, thank you for the time we had together.  I really hope to meet again somewhere else.  Anywhere else.  Can’t wait to share stories and feel the way you used to hug me so tight.  Its like we always knew it was temporary.