Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rising From The Ashes

In Greek mythology, a phoenix or phenix (Ancient Greek φοίνιξ phóinīx) is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor.

In this case I am using the ''process'' of the Phoenix as a metaphor from the studies I have done on struggle and overcoming ''hard times'', I have noticed that Fire is always used to describe the period between the beginning and the end of our trials and tribulations. I am reminded of a blacksmith and his forge. A black smith would have to bring his fire to extreme temperatures in order to get the metal to the point where it is easier to shape and hardening no longer occurs. There is also a scripture in the bible where it speaks philosophically about the testing of fire and the purpose behind it. There comes many points in our lives where we are faced with a huge all consuming fire that we must travel through. Such is the way of life. I speak for myself also in this. I've fallen countless times while walking through the fire. I just wanted to lay there and accept it. Lacking motivation and the will  to go through. Then someone or something comes along and gives me encouragement and inspires me so I can do it. I then get up and begin by putting one foot forward. I think one of the most important things we can do in the fire is to find a focal point. Something to focus on. A reason to keep going and keep striving. Its too easy to let go and allow life to drag us. To lay down and stare into the still sky as everything around us blows past. We must march with intention in preparation. Our eyes must be open and our hearts filled with purpose. Because if we press through eventually we will overcome and rise from the ashes stronger, wiser, and renewed....  

Up then, fair phoenix bride, frustrate the sun;

Thyself from thine affection
Takest warmth enough, and from thine eye
All lesser birds will take their jollity.
Up, up, fair bride, and call
Thy stars from out their several boxes, take
Thy rubies, pearls, and diamonds forth, and make
Thyself a constellation of them all;
And by their blazing signify
That a great princess falls, but doth not die.
Be thou a new star, that to us portends
Ends of much wonder; and be thou those ends.” 
― John DonneThe Complete English Poems

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Its been awhile since I last blogged. I took the holidays off. I trust that you had a beautiful time with friends and family over the holidays. I had a good time. When it comes to holidays it's a process with me emotionally. I'm not used to allot of the family flare and sentiment. The great thing about this Christmas was that I spent it with my personal family: my wife and two children. We stood home and enjoyed each others company.  I remember in my addiction and past choice of lifestyle that I would always sabotage the holidays. I would do something to ruin it for those around me. I would put myself in a position that would somehow excuse my presence... that's what I thought at least. I didn't realize that the choices I made effected those around me also. Well! Glad to say it was a good one. For this year of 2013 my goals are to stay focused on those things that are most important to me.... Friends, family, and relationships. My recovery and sobriety and the ever present need to keep moving forward. I approach these expectations realistically now. Before I used to set myself up for failure and aim for perfection then when perfection was lost so was my resolve. Now I understand that there is no such thing as a perfect person... only their intentions. I understand that I may fall and slip or even slide from what I aim to accomplish, but if I keep my eyes on the prize and pick myself up and move towards the mark everything will eventually work itself out....( easier said than done I know!) Well, until tomorrow comes have a great day....

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

                  The medicinal effects of laughter....

Today's topic is the medicinal effects of laughter. After having a great conversation on Google + with someone who I feel will become a great friend of mine Rosaura Torres. I came up with the topic of today's blog. Being that sometimes the only other conversations around this time besides Christmas and the holidays are about the depression and suicide rate, I'm going to be pro active and talk about the things that make people happy. It's to easy to focus on everything we don't have don't you agree? I think sometimes we almost enjoy being angry and depressed. There's to much to laugh about out there not to get caught up in a wave. Besides a sore tummy and the occasional indiscriminate spurt of gas there are virtually no consequences of laughing your butt off!!... Lol  Thanks to I have 8 benefits of laughter for you this holiday season....   

What can laughter do?:
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Increase vascular blood flow and oxygenation of the blood
  • Give a workout to the diaphragm and abdominal, respiratory, facial, leg, and back muscles
  • Reduce certain stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline
  • Increase the response of tumor- and disease-killing cells such as Gamma-interferon and T-cells
  • Defend against respiratory infections–even reducing the frequency of colds–by immunoglobulon in saliva.
  • Increase memory and learning; in a study at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, humor during instruction led to increased test scores
  • Improve alertness, creativity, and memory

But besides all of these cool and healthy facts, laughter is good for the soul. Life is too short. So enjoy your holiday and soak it up for all its worth. You can search the web, watch a comedy, call an old friend, or even revisit a time in your past that made you smile.... but what ever you do, keep smiling and past the laughter along.....

Monday, December 24, 2012

Have a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays! Enjoy the next few days the best way you can.... With family, with friends or even alone. But however you choose to spend it, make sure you focus on those things that are most important....

Saturday, December 22, 2012

                                          I love you the  best way that I know how......

Last nigh at around 1:00am me and my wife were talking and when we finished I told her that I loved her. She replied to me that she loved me also. But it was the way that she responded to me that caught me by surprise.  I asked her why she sounded the way she did when she told me that she loved me and she said that she loves me so deeply and that she's sure that she loves me in a deeper way than I love her. My response was not a harsh one at all... I responded to her statement with understanding. I told her that I am in love with her and that I love her the best way that I know how. That statement is what brought me to the topic of this blog.

 As I reflect on my life I regret to say that I've never had the example of a real man showing a woman that he loves her. I've seen movies and read about it but never witnessed it first hand or had a discussion about it. Love is talked about in almost every religion and every culture. Love is the most fulfilling and confusing feeling in the world. There are many copycats when it comes to love.... true love. The way that I love my wife comes from a multitude of influences. A little bit from the way that I love my mother, a little bit from the the movies I mentioned earlier, and a whole lot of raw emotion. It's crazy because at the beginning of our relationship, once I knew that I was actually coming to love this beautiful, intelligent, independent  and awesome woman I actually began to subconsciously sabotage our relationship. It's like I did everything I could do to push her away. That little boy inside of me couldn't believe that there was someone who would love him so hard and unconditionally. My wife saw a potential inside of my that I could never see, not in a thousand years. I say all of that to say this.... On what scale can we measure love? Do we love from experience? Do we love from influence? Is it possible to love with an understanding or stipulations.  Well whatever the answeres are... My love will forever be a love of progress and understanding. A love of experience and influence. A love that is willing to sacrifice and display a loyalty that is unmatched. I hope you, the reader, can take all of this into consideration and leave a comment because I'm interested to here your feedback... Until next time..See ya

Thursday, December 20, 2012

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.

Good evening. Today I was able to witness a breakthrough first hand of a woman about 54 years of age who has definitely had her share of troubled times. Not only was she a rape victim but she was also sexually molested by her own brother at a young age. That alone is enough to drive anyone over the edge... This woman is 54 years old and she has been carrying these secrets around like baggage her whole life. She expressed at the beginning or our conversation that she has never learned how to truly cope with her emotions. She also went on to tell me that she often has these dreams where she is all alone and the loneliness is so overwhelming that it will effect her long after the dream has finished. She stated that sometimes she will get a flash of a suppressed memory and get so caught up with emotion over something she cant even remember that she wouldn't be able to breath or swallow. I remember the moment when the breakthrough was coming because she suddenly started describing what the man looked like, out of nowhere, as this look came into her eyes as if she was gazing into her past. Tears began to stream down her face. Tears racing away from their internal chambers in her heart awaiting this very moment to be free and make way for a healing that's long overdue and a new beginning. Then a slow transformation to resolve had taken over in her expression. This woman who sat in front of me at this moment was no longer the same woman who sat in front of me a minute ago. I now saw an inner strength welling up. She displayed a courage and willingness to overcome that anyone would admire. She made a choice not to be afraid...She made a choice to come Face To Face......

FEAR...... Fear can cause trauma long after the actual experience. Fear can hold us behind an obstacle that nothing can penetrate. This woman experienced a fear so strong and so deep within that she actually forgot the very thing she was afraid of. Her fear overflowed into different situations and relationships in her life and had an impact on their quality. Today I was blessed to see a woman overcome that fear today. To see her take a stand and sort through her emotions and understand that she was a victim and it wasn't her fault. That what happened to her was wrong and evil and it doesn't make her the woman that she is today. She has been an inspiration to me as I hope her story is an inspiration to you also........

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

         There Is nothing Changing But The Weather

How many of us have heard this phrase before? It is such a little thing to say but its meaning is clear. So many of us accept what is and whats comfortable and become complacent because we are afraid of change. Often while blogging I try to use "I" and "me" statements. I often times dip in to the giant pool of memories I have stored somewhere in my history and pull out a situation I believe pertains to my topic of conversation. In this case my situation will be almost the polar opposite description of my feelings toward change than the majority of you... my readers. My mother actually had this defense mechanism that kicked in every time she felt things weren't going right or when she wasn't happy. Her immediate response to her problems were to run. Again... I don't knock my mother. I love my mother.( She did what she thought was best. She had the best of intentions). Well, this "defense" mechanism was her legacy to me as far as coping skills are concerned. I say that to say I learned over a large period of my life to embrace change. I began to love change. Change for me equaled adventure. What I didn't realize though was that my liberal feelings toward change would begin a cycle in my life where I no longer took responsibility for my actions and I eventually grew into a man who lacked even the basic fundamentals of coping with adverse situations. Now, there are those who stand on the other side of the spectrum. Those who avoid change at all costs. To them change is an unknown land that involves people of an unknown variety and things they could never expect. They have these comfortable lives and comfortable jobs. They've known the same people all of their life. Their career has been the same too. They have a constant routine which has very little room for flexibility. My response to this extreme would be that this group of people will never truly experience life. These people will never give themselves the opportunity to meet some of the greatest people they will never know. They will never give themselves the opportunity to travel to the most beautiful places they have never seen. Life consists of experiences. Experience is what breaks us and builds us back up. Experience is the catalyst of change in our everyday life. Now.. on both sides of the spectrum you can see maybe some of the positive and some of the negative affects of the ways we choose to react to change. I think we should aim for a more balanced approach to change. Not too liberal and not to conservative  There are moments when change is necessary in our lives and we must seize these moments and take action. We have but one life to let us live......

Food For Thought: Is there anything that you fear about changing in your life? Is there anything that you feel needs to change in how you live? Are you willing to change???