Take Your Life Back

How can life continually kick you in the gut, yet you still get up and fight?

How can life jerk the rug right out from under you, and yet you still get up and fight?

How can nothing seem to go right most of the time, and you still get up and fight?

How can you feel abandoned by God and still get up and fight?

Are you the person that fights?

People quit because they do not have a fight left in them, so THEY think! Emotionally we are all stronger than we give ourselves credit for.

“Self-acknowledgment boosts your emotional and spiritual immunity, giving you the strength, you need to release the past and rise above fear, doubt, or resignation.”—Debbie Ford

Two years ago, I took life head-on. With no emotional place to go but up, it was time to take the hits, take the pain, take the sorrow, and say NO more.

When you want to change your life, achieve more than you ever have. You need to be ready to take whatever life can throw at you, breakthrough prepared for more. When I speak of achievement, this is not about work success, this is YOU success.

Nothing in this life will come to you if you are not prepared. Emotionally prepared to never allow life to overtake your self-worth.

No more pity parties, “I can’t take it, it is too hard!” Horsefeathers!

Let me give you a little secret I have learned along the way. When you begin to awaken the you that you want to be. The person that makes all your dreams come true. You also awaken the enemy who says, “Oh NO, you don’t, I had you in the pits of hell on earth and that is where you stay.” So, the battle begins!

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You will be tested; the enemy will fill your head with garbage. Keep you busy chasing your own tale. Kicking your own ass. This is when YOU SAY, “Oh Hell. No, this is my time.”

This will help you strengthen yourself:

  1. Pray. Find times every day to share your innermost thoughts with God. The good, the bad and the ugly. Get it out. All we ask for is wisdom to resolve!
  2. Meditation. Daily get yourself in a routine of reflection. This is where we go to see ourselves in that place of joy, happiness, and peace.
  3. Journal your day. Learn the difference between activity and productivity. Success comes about when productivity dominates our days. Set specific times to achieve tasks every day that lead to a tangible result. Set up your day hour-to-hour. At first, this will be a pain in the butt. Over time it becomes second nature.
  4. Breathe. As much as needed, take a moment to breathe. Slow yourself down when your head begins to muddle up with garbage. Box breathing is a beautiful way to calm down. Easy to do: Take a couple cleansing breaths in through the nose out through the mouth. Then on a slow 4 count breath in and hold 4, breathe out on a 4 count, begin the same rhythm again. Do this a couple of times; if relaxed your good. If not a couple more times.
  5. Remember a calm mind, is productive, creative, and happy. This is where you will draw your greatest strength.

Do not give up when things get tough. Misery loves company. Do not let the enemy put in your head you can not change, YES you can!

The reason I know change is possible:

  • Great athletes train, train, and train more. You do not pick up a golf club walk onto a tee box with Tiger Woods and expect to win a game. You do not get on a pair of skis and stand in a start house with Lindsey Vaughn and expect to win a gold medal.

Why you say, why can you not beat them? Simple! Practice they have trained themselves for years to compete at the level of achievement each has attained. You must train, train and train more to win—the same thing with your mind that has decades of garbage stuffed in your mind.

People can change because you do get better when you practice. When you get off your ass and try. Try until you think one more step is impossible and take action.

Nay Sayers can kiss my ass. Let this become your mantra!

Just because lazy asses tell you something is impossible. You do not have the right stuff. Remind them to sit on their ass and hold your beer. Get it done!

I wish I had a shortcut to share. Other than your resolve must be steadfast. When enough-is-enough, you will change. I am!

Life Try’s to Throw a Punch

Cleaning up the wreckage of the past. Mop bucket after mop bucket of old muck. It is enough to wear anyone out.

“I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.”–Walt Disney

This holds true for me as I clean up old messes. What is more, it brings you right back to the place you left so long ago. Past garbage must be picked up even though you may have long since moved on.

Today was one of those days for me. The rug gets jerked right out, and bam, you hit the floor, saying, “what the hell was that?” At this stage, you can either get up, or you can wallow in the mire of despair.

It is hard but chooses to get up. Swift kicks to the gut hurt for a moment, but you can breathe again. Overnight, I was able to find my hope still. Messes can be cleaned up and moved past. Not allowing myself to fall into a pit of self-induced hell was an achievement!

Today these are steps I took to bring myself out of what could have been debilitating fear:

  1. Give it to God. I simply told God I did not understand why, but I was not going to lose faith in him.
  2. Took time to just breathe for a minute. Fear will stifle any hope. Sighing and taking a minute to say, “the world is not coming to an end, how do we fix this?”
  3. Keep telling myself repeatedly, “all is well, God has this!”
  4. Reminding myself that when all this began, I am a hell of a lot further today than I was when this all started. All for the better!
  5. Hope always exists, and for me, when I can feel hope in my heart. I know everything will be okay.

We all get life kicking us in the gut when we least expect or need it to happen. Rolling with it and having the expectation all will be well. Easier said than done, however, over time as we practice our faith. Moving with life becomes more natural.

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Feeling stronger as faith grows is something that happens. It took a long time for me to believe that my inner strength could be called upon to pull me through the toughest of times. Why, because I am not alone. God will stay with me through my tough times.

With all things, we must practice, practice, practice. Over and over, I say, “God has me.” As I write this, it occurs to me that I have been reading the bible and other Christian books more so than average. Perhaps I have stirred the enemy to throw his life stone at me to see if I will falter. Fall apart and lose what I have. Not this time!!!

Two years ago, I made a commitment that I would no longer lose in life. For once in my life, I intend unequivocally to not miss!

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Fighting Old Habits

“The key to forming good habits is to make them part of your ‘rituals.’ I have a morning ritual, afternoon ritual, and Sunday ritual. It’s one way to bundle good habits into regular times that you set aside to prepare yourself for the life you want. Rituals help you form habits.”—Lewis Howes

With no real easy way to tell you this. Your head is going to be at times, your most formidable adversary. Wanting to stay status quo. Comfortable in misery. So much so you don’t feel the pain at a level like the beginning.

Changes in our lives, new paradigms to replace old thought processes is what is needed now. The past will not give up easily. Prepare yourself for a title fight.

If you’re a Christian, the enemy is preparing an attack like you’ve never fought. Why? He wants you to continue miserable. He hopes that you will implode. As we move further in this chapter, I will share with you how I made it through the toughest times.

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The enemy will attack you to keep you down. He is afraid of losing you to an excellent team. So he will fight you in the form of:

  • Depression (not diagnosed or medicated) Just feeling depressed.
  • Keep your mind on past mistakes.
  • I am feeling hopeless.
  • I am reliving the past over-and-over in your head.
  • Dark thoughts of self-harm. (NEVER AN OPTION)

Working through this will be difficult, and you will be tested. You can and will get through this time.

We are making it easier to understand. We all buck change at work. If a policy changes everyone in the office complains. “Why are they changing, the old way worked.”

Let’s say, for example, you’ve done the same thing, the same way for years-and-years. Change won’t come easy. Excuses like:

  • I’m too set in my ways.
  • I’m too old to change now.
  • Too hard f*&^ it.

Don’t fool yourself into these false statements. You can change, you’re not too old, stop limiting yourself!

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”—Nelson Mandela

Allow yourself to change. It won’t happen overnight; I can tell you I still fall into traps; however, I can happily report that the bear traps are further apart.

So how do we bring about real change, especially when confronted with real pain? Here is how I brought myself out of the dark:

  1. Learn to quiet your mind. Declutter all the garbage that goes through our minds. Meditation can be life-changing if you practice daily.
  2. Something that seems innocuous has tremendous value — taking times daily to slow your breathing for sixty seconds only. Slows your pulse, helps relax your body, relieve tension. Tension causes aggravation. Breathing several times per day for a minute or so will slow you down.
  3. Do something physical every day. Walk, gym, run, get off your butt, and do something to relieve stress in your body.
  4. Helping others will get you outside yourself. Reminding you that life is not all about you. Be a blessing to someone!

Changing our lives takes time and work. You can’t all a sudden tell God you want to make a million dollars this year, order a Pizza and wait. Sorry life takes real work.

The most important of this is discipline and organization. Set reminders daily to do the tasks laid out in this book. Otherwise, you wake up a week later and go, “crap, I was supposed to meditate every day.”

If you want lasting and real change, fill your calendar with an activity that fosters change.

You are fighting with yourself. I call it kicking your own ass. Your noodle will run from the pain of change. Your mind is falsely convincing you that you cannot change. It’s too hard. Don’t listen to these false prophecies of your life. Years of conditioning will take time to shake off old paradigms.

At times this will seem relentless the attack on you to stay status quo. The enemy will come at you in ways that look as though you cannot win. You will feel alone, like nothing you can do will ever help. Surrender to God. Let him know that you can’t see a way, but you know he will take away.

When I first moved from my home in South Texas to live in West Texas. My ex-wife wanted a divorce that I honestly at the time did not want a divorce. Financially in dire straits, the woman I believed to be my soulmate now gone.

Could not at the time be in more of a dark place. I had so many times thought I had no reason to live. Scary how close that came to pass. For whatever reason, I never acted on dark thoughts. Thank God I did not.

With some lucid moments of I need to start over. I began to think about life without my wife. I decided I would get into Church and try to understand the spiritual side of my life. I was drawn to this need to find a Church home.

After finding a Church that was recommended to me by someone that I trust, I became a regular attendee, most times staying for two of the three Sunday services. Because my head would clutter with such garbage; I was fighting so hard to hear what the Pastor said; it was exhausting.

Most Church services end with a call to give your life to Jesus Christ. To confess, you’re a sinner and that you accept Jesus as your Lord and savior. For a few weeks, I had faithfully attended sitting mostly in the back of the sanctuary.

One Sunday during this altar call; I raised my hand. The Usher came and gave me a CD, and I confessed and prayed the short prayer to accept Jesus Christ. At the end of this part of the service, the Pastor headed across the stage stopped and turned.

He began to say “sir, sir,” not realizing he was trying to get my attention for a moment. As I realized he was trying to get my attention. Pastor Don said to me God had put in his heart for whatever I was doing artistically to keep going, don’t stop.

Here is the real kicker to the story. I had been blogging, take pictures with my camera and stating to myself that for the last half of my life I was going to do what I wanted to do not what I have to do. I wanted to be a freelance writer and photographer.

Not one person in this Church, including the Pastor, knew me from Adam. I stayed to myself and never said as much as a good morning unless first approached.

No way could the Pastor know that I was doing or working on anything artistically. This Pastor stopped in the middle of the ending of this service to tell me that God told him to say to me, keep doing what I love to do.

To say the very least, I was utterly in shock. It took a bit for this to sink in. Nothing in my life to this point was so profound.

This event helped me to go further and keep trying. Freely I admit stumbling and falling post this event. However, remembering that God has come into my life then and several times since then.

When I thought a couple of times all is lost something would happen to show me that even with a Mustard seed of faith left, God would bless me so that I knew he was still protecting me.

My point of this is even in your darkest moment when you see nothing, but my life is worthless not also worth being here. God if you try, if you fight through when you cannot see anything but dark, let God know you are trying to hold on, God will answer.

Today after many events from small to abundant miracles. God has convinced me that if I focus my faith, he will lead me through anything. Now I run after God.

The old me would not have hung in the darkness to realize the blessing. I would have long before quit and moved on. That is the old paradigms I must break. When enough-is-enough, you will change. My time was when I moved to West Texas, once you make that decision, you will be amazed at how life opens for you!

No matter what happens, you cannot quit. Take one more step, always.

Let me share with you why having patience will serve you well.

The dream job of a lifetime is something that you now focus your attention too — searching far and wide for this wonderful job. Some time goes by with nothing happening, and you cannot see any hope.

What you don’t know is that a beautiful person occupies the job you seek; someone that has had a fantastic career, beloved by all at the job. This person is getting ready to retire; the job will come available for you to apply for and get!

This person is another thirty days from retirement, and well-deserved retirement. God has you in mind so that this job will cross your path. Your search has gone on for five months with no results, so you quit thirty days before the position of a lifetime comes available.

Your focus moves on to something else, and the Universe moves on because you did.

Stay in faith even when you don’t see a way God is making a way. You won’t know what is having to take place in front of you before God can move this part of your destiny to unfold for you. The Universe won’t cut you in line. So have patience!

Here is the real kicker that will blow your mind. You can’t move yet because God is blessing someone you don’t know with something you currently have. He is driving your life around to be a blessing for someone you don’t even know.

Point is none of us know. So why stress over a fair outcome that may take a little more time. How many times have you quit than if you had not your life might be completely different? Think about that. Patience can make all the difference in your life. Faith, Hope, resolve, need to be your mantra!

A chapter from my book Tying It All Together. Click the book cover to see all my works on Amazon.

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Anxiety & Stress Are They Stealing Your Joy

Anxiety and stress can have debilitating results. For years I suffered through stress, work-related, home, you name it, I could find a way to stress myself out!

Over the past couple of years now, some fantastic results have passed through my life. Yes, I still stress, but boy can control it been enhanced. I will share with you my daily routine and habits that help.

prayer, faith, hope

First, let me say that if you’re struggling to get help from a licensed health care professional. What I am sharing with you is just daily habits that you can try to see if they help. By no means should you feel this is a cure-al?

Simple daily routine changes can help with stress & anxiety:

  1. Learn to quiet the mind. This is just a simple relaxation method that can help you with a clear mind. When the rhetoric in your head can slow down and quiet. Amazing results begin to appear.
  2. This can be a simple walk around your neighborhood. Or you can join a gym. Working out the tension in your body, getting stronger can help you not get so fatigued that your anxiety just increases.
  3. Take a moment often during the day to just breathe. Sixty seconds to breathe in through the nose and out through your mouth. Nice cleansing breaths.
  4. Regulate your soda, coffee, and high caffeine drinks. For most of us, we don’t need more help to get anxious.
  5. Take the time that’s just for you. Watch a sunrise by yourself. Sit by a creek. Do something that is just for you (retail therapy is a no-no. Credit card debt is a stressor). Go shoot baskets at the park, kick a ball, ride a bike.
  6. Stay connected with people that uplift you. Debbie-downer is not your friend. Choose wisely. Don’t hibernate.
  7. Set boundaries for people that bring stress into your experience. If someone can only talk about negative things. Cut them short (YES YOU CAN) politely excuse yourself from that situation “oh I totally forgot ______” hopefully that person gets a clue. You are not anyone’s sounding board for garbage.
  8. Home or office is a mess. Guess what? That is the state of your noodle. Clean up, organize, and enjoy the environment around you. People often tell me the disorganized desk in the office, “that’s just the way I am.” So, you’re a chaotic malfunctioning human, and we should all get over it? I regularly must organize myself, it’s a habit I highly recommend.
  9. Sit down and prioritize your life. I mean down to the last detail. If you tell me you’re a free spirit, you fly by the seat of your pants. Then I say super if you’re a well-adjusted, NORMAL functioning human being I will shut up. Otherwise, organize based on the importance of what you need to do every day. The reason being, if you have a real sense of accomplishment, wow, is that life-changing! Activity vs. Productivity learns the difference now!
  10. Patience and faith. If you can learn to allow life to unfold (yes you must do the work) knowing full well, you’ll be fine. Even when you can’t see a way, you believe with everything that is you, all will be well. Spiritual connectedness will indeed bring about peace in your life.
  11. Learn to be grateful right where you are. If you want more out of life, you must be thankful where you stand. If you want more from the Universe, why would that occur if you’re miserable where you are (NO, I am not suggesting you be grateful in a situation that is emotionally or physically harmful to you). However, if this is not the case and you’re simply aggravated at your lot in life. Be grateful you have a car that gets you to work, you have a job it may suck, but you have one, a roof over your head, food to eat, your health and clothes to wear.

You can find a million reasons to stay in the crap. I just gave you eleven reasons not too. What’s more, you can do each of these with just a little effort.

The real question now; “What are you prepared to do?” Until you make the decision to change your life, expect the same outcome.

No guarantee this will be easy. Nothing worth having is ever easy. I am going to let you in on a secret. For most of our lives, we’ve been taught to run away from pain. Sounds reasonable.

Ponder this:

When you first go to the gym and workout hard, what happens? Soreness from hell hits you. Can’t brush your teeth, can’t raise your arms high enough. You can quit or go back to the gym and work out a bit more until the soreness subsides.

Coaches will push you beyond your mental and physical breaking points. Why? Your head will quit far sooner than your body or mind can handle. Marathon runners are prime examples. “The wall” as marathon runners will tell you hits about the twenty-mile mark, and your brain says your body it’s time to stop. The physical pain that is causing damage to the point if you don’t stop, you could injure yourself or worse die.

Medical studies have proven this is all in your head. Runners are not hurt, injured, or dying. What is happening is our limiting beliefs take over, and it’s; fight-or-flight.

Before you give up, take one more step. If you took the step, then maybe we can go more. It’s all up to you. The ONLY PERSON ON THIS PLANET THAT CAN SAY YOU CAN OR CANNOT. IS YOU!

Don’t let anxiety and stress take your joy. If you need professional help go, get it. I am putting a resource to help you get started. This is not a paid endorsement, nor an endorsement by me. It’s just a great place to get started.

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National Institute for Mental Health

Surviving Causes Us to Forget To Dream

When you’re focused on surviving, you will forget to dream. How can we turn that around? Are you ready to turn it around?

If so then read these few short bursts of wisdom that you can put into place right now. Those of you that read me know that “there is NO tomorrow, we have to get on it today.”

Survive mode is filled with fear, limiting beliefs, and of course, this stifles any progress. It’s way easier said than done to get from survival mode to actually have hope. Living paycheck-to-paycheck with one foot in ruin and the other on a banana peel.

self improvement, hope, happy

This is something I suffer through most of my adult life. How do we get past the oppression of our own minds?

Here are some quick things you can begin right now:

  1. Set reminders every day in your phone to alert you to stop and breathe. Take sixty seconds to relax and breathe. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth in a relaxed posture. 
  2. Take time daily to meditate. Learn to quiet your mind and focus on gratitude, hope, desires, and peace. Even if you cannot see any way to find any of these things in your own life. Just trust that it’s coming. The how is not essential the FAITH that it’s happening you have all that you desire. Do this, and the how will come! 
  3. Prayer is more powerful than anything else that you can try. Praying in faith that God has you! In my darkest moments, I just keep saying over-and-over “God has me, God has me.” This too is something that you may not see an answer, don’t look for it just recognize that whatever you pray for is coming to pass. 

When you do these few things consistently and with indeed an open heart. The HOW will find you. Don’t give in to “well, there is just no way this is ever going to work out.” Keep saying that and you’re right!

Lesson learned for me was to trust that God has control, and every month, what I need is provided. Somehow life works out, so I am okay. It may be a close shave, but somehow, everything I need at that moment is provided.

Making excuses over-and-over again solves nothing. If you have nothing, no hope, what the heck do you have to lose by just trying? You don’t have to believe 100% to work, the belief will come. Take a step move forward; life is waiting!

You can dream, you can have hope you can be happy! Begin by just saying to yourself, “I am not losing anymore.”

Three things to begin to break the bondage of life. You cannot give up, this is going to take work, crying, kicking, screaming, and praying! We’ve all been there, and no person is alone. Reach out.

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