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Thursday, July 30, 2015


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

What I Ate Today

-1 sugar free white Monster
- 2 bananas
- 1 piece of French toast with some syrup
- Veggie Sandwich from Jason's Deli with provolone cheese and whole grain wheat bread.
- 2 chicken wings
-1/2 pickle
- one bag of Baked Lays with some salsa
- one red apple with a spoon of Jif peanut butter
- one small peppermint
- one green apple with a handful of blueberries 
- 1 gallon of water 
- a few swigs of Guinness stout 
- a few pieces of small licorice candy 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What are you doing with "your" life?

What are you doing with your life? There you sit in a coffee shop or a trendy bar staring at couples kissing or a game on the television. You question yourself about what you are doing with your life. You ponder and look in the spectrum of the past and see that you are not being fulfilled or not who you want to be at the present moment in time. Maybe a few of life's curve balls have directed you down a new path. A path that you thought you would never encounter. You may question yourself constantly about what you are doing with your life, but are not making necessary action.

You get caught up in the tornado of work, school, family, relationships and the small escapes of vacation and entertainment. Your job may not be meeting your needs and anymore and has trapped you in a spiral of mediocrity and stagnation. Your habits have perpetuated themselves and you see your friends in real life and online doing "cooler" things than you. Instead of expressing gratitude for what you have, you wallow in the wading waters of "want". Instead of looking inward for your direction, you seek for the pleasures and rewards in the outer world. Your "life" turns into a series of repetitious moments where you may or may ask yourself,  " Wait, haven't I been here before? Haven't I done this before?" You fall into learned patterns and behaviors and the thought of any discomfort makes you adverse to change. So, What exactly are you doing with "your" life?

Let's Break this down!

Let's look at the "doing" part of the question. Our society makes us believe that we must be doing something all the time in order to be successful. It rewards the pleasures of accomplishment and gives us that the constant habit of doing will get us to a place of peace and happiness. The act of doing is mostly of the mind. The mind doesn't allow you to sit still and enslaves you in to think that you must always be "doing" something. Instead of mindfully doing tasks and goals, you try to get from point A to point B as fast as possible.

We all praise people that can multitask, when in reality multitasking takes us more and more away from the present moment and what we actually are trying to accomplish. You are doing simply for the act of doing. The doing does not add any particular "value" to your life. As you sit thinking and ask yourself what you are doing with your life, you fail to realize that life itself is not a task to task to do list frantic fest that will add any true meaning to your life. The mind tricks you into thinking that doing a particular thing without awareness will lead you to fulfillment. When you follow that illusory doing path, you reach a means to an end and will circle back to the same place you were before going from one thing to another without knowing why. When you look inward, meditate and become aware of where you are at the present moment, you will get a rush of fulfillment and contentment that will never come when you are constantly searching in the acts of doing. When you align yourself to the present moment , you shift your energy from a human "doing" to a human "being".

Listen. Observe. Let the thought or idea surface or pass. What sticks will stick and you can take action.

“The past has no power over the present moment.”
Eckhart Tolle

Now that we have covered some of the aspects of the doing with the question. Let's tackle the "your life" part. What is "your life"? When you are saying "your life", you are talking about the culmination of experiences and events that have made the self. The self is a product of time. When you look back, you are looking at all the lessons and experiences that have shaped who you are at that very moment. The past informs you into making decisions based on what has worked or hasn't worked for you. Successes and failures are compartmentalized into different folders on your brain computer that can be accessed at times of need or times where certain repetitive habits or events occur.

"You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life."- Jiddu Krishnamurti

Is it really "your life"? Is life your possession? Is life a bull that you are consistently trying to lasso or discipline into working for the benefit of yourself? When you make life a possession, you are falling into the trap of ego identity. Life then becomes a struggle, endurance test, or a means to an end that shifts you from a state of gratitude, spontaneity and awareness to a state of discontent, murkiness and anxiety. When you treat life as a possession, you immediately divorce yourself from the present moment and put on a false sense of identity driven only by the ego. Instead of doing, take more moments to observe and listen. When the small voice inside of you speaks, you will know that it is not the voice of the ego or mind trying to get you to do it's bidding. What are you passionate about? What adds value to your life? What makes you get lost in the act? These are some important questions to ask yourself and may not always yield solid answers right away. Questions open up the doors of opportunity and shift "your life" to an act of discovery, spontaneity and important lessons. When you stop trying to lasso the bull, you can float down the river of life and stop off at places that offer the best value to you at the moment that will influence the best decisions in the future.

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.”
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose  

What are you doing with your life?
What are you doing at this moment?
What are a few of the things that you value the most?
What do you LOVE doing?
What actions are you taking to accomplish your goals?
Are the things you want to do going to add and value or fulfillment to your life?

Take a breath. Enjoy and be grateful that that what you are doing by aligning yourself to the present moment is what you should always be "doing" with "your life".

Love. Learn. Grow. = Life. 


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Friday, July 10, 2015

(AAA) Effective Communication

Before you read.
Take a breath and close your eyes.
Count to five and breath in and out and your own accord. Do not rush it. 


How do you talk to people? 
Are you listening intently? 
Are you just waiting to put in your opinions? 
Are you learning?
Are you appreciating?

These are all necessary questions to ask yourself when pondering on the basics of human communication. It is important to approach communication in a non hostile and compassionate way. One of the best ways to communicate is to break it down into 3 tenants. 


Let's go more in depth into these pillars of effective communication that benefits all participants involved. 

1. Attention 
- Listening is an act of love.
How your carry yourself into a conversation is very important. What kind of presence are you bringing? 
Are you aware of your body language, 
Is it open? Is it loving and recognizing everyone else's presence?
Before engaging with a person or a group of people, take a chance and focus on your breath.
Take two fresh breaths so you can be refreshed!
- Listen with Intention.
- Make eye contact and nod when appropriate.
- Feel free and use affirmative words such as "Right" or " Absolutely". Avoid using more passive and apathetic words such as "ok" or "alright".

When the person or people are done talking about their point, make the next step.

2. Acknowledgement

When you acknowledge someone's words or actions, you are showing that you were paying attention with intent and not anxious to give your two cents. Acknowledgement is great for moving conversation forward and getting everyone on the same page. Sometimes you might ask a question to clarify the other person's point. Sometimes you might state what you heard right back to them in a way that makes more sense to you and all conscientious actors involved.

A: " So, you are saying that the Chicago hot dog is one of the best hot dogs out there?"
B: " Yes, absolutely! "

Acknowledgement is as important as appreciation in that it requires you to be present and listening intently. It is simply the bridge that allows all effective communication to filter through and clarify.

3. Appreciation

After you have completed the first 2 steps, you can move on to showing appreciation towards the other persons' words or actions. This may be uncomfortable if you are not use to giving compliments or showing positive feedback to people around you. The best thing to do is practice. Practice getting out of your comfort zones and actually showing some compassion and spread positivity to people around you. It can be as small as a two word compliment or a more in depth description of a person's words. Make sure to keep everything as clear and explicit as possible as to not create any confusion of condescension or sarcasm.

A: " I really appreciate you expressing your opinions of hot dogs. It seems like you have put a lot of thought and work into determining what tastes good for you. I admire that you are so passionate about it!"
B: " Thank you!"

Showing appreciation will create an atmosphere of constructive criticism and positivity that will ease communication for you in the future. It is important to not try to force it every time. You do not want to come off as someone being a suckup or a brown noser. Appreciations can be subtle and grandiose depending on the context of the conversation. If you are taking a bunch of time to show too much Appreciation, it might hinder the organic nature of the conversation itself. Use appreciation wisely throughout a conversation and make sure to end every conversation with it.

In conclusion, if you keep these three principles in mind you will see a change for the better. You will notice that people's attitudes will be affected and uplifted. You will notice that more people will have more interest in talking with you and will pass on the same behaviors you bring forth. Keep in mind that you might find resistance within some people and sometimes no matter what you do you will not be able to have a peaceful and constructive conversation. The best thing to do in that situation is to peacefully disembark with honesty and courage without calling out someone on their errors or aggressions. There are plenty of positive and willing people that are waiting for you to interact with.

Go forth, be mindful, and learn!




Thursday, July 9, 2015

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2015