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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Helping Someone Depressed

*To help your friend or relative:

 Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.

Talk to him or her and listen carefully.

Never dismiss feelings but point out realities and offer hope.

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Never ignore comments about suicide and report them to your loved one’s therapist or doctor.

Invite your loved one out for walks, outings, and other activities. Keep trying if he or she declines, but don’t push him or her to take on too much too soon.

Aid in getting to doctors’ appointments.

Remind your loved one that with time and treatment, the depression will lift.

Caring for someone with depression is not easy. Someone with depression may need constant support for an extended period. Make sure you leave time for yourself and your own needs. If you feel you need additional assistance, there are support groups for caregivers too.

Helping someone with depression can be a real task. The person may be in a pit and become verbally combative when insisted on getting moving to a therapy appointment or maybe just to the shower.

Remember, it’s the depression lashing out or talking to you. Just like someone drunk, it’s the liquor talking. Boundaries can be set; however, patience is the call of the day.

*U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health. (2015). Depression (NIH Publication No. 15-3561). Bethesda, MD: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Make It a Fun Day

Life is about choice. You can choose to be happy, sad, depressed, or you can want fun! Sounds a bit of a cliche, but ask yourself, “what if I choose to have fun today?”

Here are five quick fun things you can do today:

  1. Go bowling! Have you ever seen anyone not having fun bowling? For those of you that have never bowled, it’s just fun. 
  2. Get outside. Park, lake, mountains, river, just get out. Take a picnic, frisbee, get your pets outside. Tons of things to do outside free. Breathe fresh air!  
  3. Watch a comedy movie. A laugh out loud comedy. This will date me, but Author with Dudley Moore, one of the funniest movies ever! 
  4. Volunteer. Find an organization you can get your head around and go help. Senior home, dog rescue, food pantry, tons of places to help. 
  5. Find a fun hobby. Something that brings you pleasure. Internet searches, you can find thousands of choices. Pick one and go! 

That’s just five simple things. You can do whatever you choose just make sure it’s fun. Noting like a pleasant smile, laugh, and being with people together.

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The biggest mistake in my life? Chasing a living instead of living a life!

Get out and do something right now today. No time limits, no pressure, just get outside of where you are now. No money, no worries, go to a local park shoot some baskets. Play on the children’s playground.

Point is don’t say next week, tomorrow, or whatever excuse your head can put out. Fun is the call of the day!

Don’t wait for your life to happen, go make it happen!

Life Detox

This is the first chapter of Life Detox. How we can cleanse, mind, body, and soul. Sometimes it’s just time to rip off the bandaid and be done with it! Choose to begin anew!

Chapter 1 

Why 

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”—Michael Jordan

Perfection is not the goal; persistence is our focus. 

You’ve all heard you need to find your way. True but, in this scenario, the why needs to be you’re sick-and-tired-of-being-sick-and-tired! Enough is enough. Well, I can tell you that over a year ago, that is where I found myself. 

(Get a pad of paper to do some writing) To make any lasting change, grab the paper! 

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself:

 

  • Is your life where you hoped it would be right now?

 

  • Are you depressed most of the time?
  • Are you merely going through the paces of daily life with no real direction, work, go home, that’s about all?
  • Are you unhappy? Why?
  • If money, time, education, depression were not the problem. What would fulfill your life?

 

 

Please take the time to put some real thought into the questions. If you follow along this way, we can save you a great deal of time. 

You must get very clear on what you would like to see your life become. One of the biggest epiphanies I’ve experienced don’t worry about the HOW, set your sail to the horizon of where you want your life. 

Imagine getting on a boat for a long journey. You set sail, and off you go. Along the way, you most assuredly will face rough seas. When you begin the rough journey seas, severe weather is not part of the equation when you decided to set sail. 

The end destination is more important than how we get there! If you had a chance to visit some beautiful faraway island, once in a lifetime opportunity. Would you not go because you MIGHT run into bad weather? Did you not go because you thought the how was more difficult — focusing on the “what if’s” instead of the outcome? 

Logic would suggest you have a plan that includes how. So how do you plot this course change in life without knowing how you’re going to traverse the course to a destination. When you set out on any journey let’s say a storm comes up, do you sail directly through it? No, you may have to recalibrate a new route. 

My point is you don’t know all the “how’s” that will change your course unexpectedly. However, if you worry yourself before you set sail, you’ll stifle any chance of real change! 

I can hear you! “How do you not worry about how?” These are bullet points that will explain: 

 

  • Have a clear definition of the result. Know what you want clearly! 

 

  • Learn to meditate on the result you desire, see it in your mind’s eye. Feel in every part of your being what it would feel like to have achieved that which you want most. 
  • Have unwavering faith it will happen. A prayer might sound like “God you know what I desire in my heart, I have faith you will provide everything I need for that, what you put in my heart to achieve. I don’t know how we will do this; I trust you have the way.
  • Pray for wisdom and guidance.
  • Set realistic expectations. Reach to be sure.

 

 

How to turn from wishful thinking to ACTION:

 

  • What is one step you can take right now to begin your journey? Forget the words significant steps, little steps. Every step forward creates forward momentum. 

 

  • Learn the difference between activity vs. productivity. 
  • Learn to plan your day for production — set reminders for tasks that produce results. Stay on task!
  • Take time to research and put into action what you learn to achieve your desire. Fill yourself as though you’re filling a pitcher with knowledge.
  • When self-doubt and the like hit your noodle, remember this, whatever negative thoughts you’re having it’s temporary. Work through it even when you think you cannot.

 

 

The how will come to you. Take steps every day, and you will begin to gain momentum. 

“When you begin to worry, go find something to do. Get busy being a blessing to someone; do something fruitful. Talking about your problem or sitting alone, thinking about it does no good! It serves only to make you miserable. Above all else, remember that worrying is useless. Worrying will not solve your problem.”–Joyce Meyer

A struggle for everyone.  When everything in your life is overwhelmingly worrisome. So how do we get through that?

When you begin to realize that no matter what you’re going through in life, it’s temporary. If you get flustered stifling any sort of progress the situation stalls or gets worse.

Begin to look at trials and tribulations as a coaching exercise. Learn to realize God is coaching you to become a world-class you! What do coaches do? They train you to go beyond what you believe you can do. Stretch yourself beyond your limiting beliefs.

Life is changing for me. I don’t look at difficulties as a problem, but a learning experience is preparing me to handle anything life can throw at me. Yes, at times, you can feel alone, lost, and defeated. At this moment I think of myself as running dead last in a race. I can choose to fail, or I can run my heart out and win.

God is merely working all of us out. He is training us to handle anything the enemy can throw to disrupt our life. Why can’t God fix my life? He is trying by letting you work through the pain to strengthen your resolve.

It hurts I can’t do it! God never puts more on our plate than we can handle. Hard to understand, but here is the skinny. Get through this because on the other side of pain is your destiny. Bigger and brighter than you can imagine.

Change the way you look at problems. They’re not happening at you they’re happing for you!

Here are some exercises you can do to change your state-of-mind: Crank up some music that gets you dancing. Music can immediately improve your state and put a smile on your face. 

 

  • Breathe. Take 60 seconds or so and breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, beautiful and relaxing. 

 

  • Pray — nothing like a good prayer. You can hand God the garbage he is ready to be a blessing to you and carry it out. 
  • Meditate. Find the right place to meditate and relax your mind and body.

 

 

Take a walk. Get outdoors and walk to help relieve muscle stress. Throw on some headphones and good music. Change your state-of-mind, and you will change your life. 

Time outdoors can be incredibly cathartic to the soul. Taking in nature, walking by a river, standing on the beach, anywhere that God has touched the landscape. You can look up and happily say to God, “show off.” Smiling in awe of the world around you. 

When you can take these moments to find clarity in your head, good thoughts, new ideas, and fresh perspectives will become the norm. 

One thing that I did put up a bird-feeder. Birds are incredibly funny and beautiful to watch. I have found myself sitting for long periods just enjoying my birds and clearing my head when I’m not trying — just enjoying the moment.

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God Is Your Coach

My new book, God is Your Coach out in Paperback and available on Kindle.

Take a look at chapter one:

Chapter 1

The Title Fight

In this corner, wearing depression, despair, and no hope Me!

In the black corner wearing out my life, the enemy!

The enemy will work to keep you sufficiently depressed so that you won’t take steps towards a new life. The attack can come in many forms, depression, self-doubt, or just merely giving in that this won’t work. Hogwash!

Change comes at a price. We’ve all heard the adage; nothing in this life is free. Nothing worth having is free. A beautiful life is worth the price we will pay to enjoy. There is hope, and it will come. However, we do have to navigate some attacks on our life.

As change begins to take hold in our life, smiles on our face, a pep in our step and peace in our mind. Everything appears to be moving nicely. All the sudden the rug gets pulled out from under our feet and smash we go.

The first thing that comes to us is excellent “this doesn’t work.” I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! Precisely what the enemy wants you to believe. Loser, failure, and nothing you will try will work. All lies! Here is the rub, stay in faith. What??? I can hear you screaming. Will get to this further in the book, keep going.

Spiritual warfare for those of you new to a Christian life can disenchant most from staying with God. As humans, we tend to allow pain to numb our senses in a way that we accept a sort of mediocrity for our lives. Sad! How the enemy keeps us leashed — never allowing us to wander off too far.

You’re not too old, too weak, too young, or any other moniker you can place to defeat yourself. Are you not tired of kicking your ass? I know I was and that has prompted this book.

Beginning this process, you will come out swinging. Strong bold, and you feel that you can conquer the world. Then you take a shot to the gut that puts you right to the ground. Everything starts falling apart; all your work seems to be running down the drain.

Depression and self-doubt overtake your mind. Spiritual warfare has arrived. Keep in mind that trials and tribulations can take on any negative form. We’re using these analogies to set an expectation that whatever form attacks take they’re relentless.

Here are a couple of things you can do to help you with immediate changes in your state-of-mind:

  1. Take 60 seconds and breathe. Cleansing breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Breathing will relax tension.
  2. Get outside and walk to the end of the block. Walking will relieve tension. Focus on the beauty around you.
  3. If you can get to a quiet place to meditate, relax your mind. Good, contemplate music.
  4. You can almost immediately change your state of mind listening to music that moves you. Music is incredibly healing at the moment. Get your feet to move.

Changing your state-of-mind can bring peace. Everything is going to be okay; you have to get your head there. The preceding was temp solutions to get your head out of a dark place.

No matter the obstacles in your life, they’re all temporary. Think about some hard-times in your life. If you’re past them, something terrible that happened ten years ago, that at the time seemed devastating. You must see, you’re still here, everything is most likely calmer, settled and most importantly over. The monster is defeated.

This next part of the chapter is one of two articles I have written and included in this eBook that I think help bolster the message I want to get across in this eBook. Bits and pieces may be redundant, but I trust you will overlook that to receive the news.

When your feet hit the floor in the morning, let the Devil say, “Oh Shit He’s up!”

Our minds can exhaust us to the point we feel like we’ve been in a heavyweight title fight. Pardon the cliché, but you are sick and tired of being sick and tired. What I want to prepare you for is the title fight that is coming. The enemy will see a change in you for good. All the sudden, you went from being depressed to having hope.

Jesus paid for your sins on the cross. I am not going to pretend to be a theologian and quote scripture. What I did do is start attending a great Bible-based church. Began to study the word of God. You have protection from the enemy; you can yourself cast him out of your head (No you’re not Reagan McNeil from the Exorcist). God supplies all the tools you need. You must show up for work.

Part of your job will be to follow the path I am laying down. Find an excellent Bible-based Church. Not hard to find and you may need to attend a couple before you see one that you feel is home. You will need the tools, and foundation for Christ to win the fight to come.

The enemy will come at you hard. WHY, because he is afraid to lose you to the right side. He wants your soul; he wants you to fail! You have free will so that it will become a choice. I would cry so hard thinking God seems pissed at me for all the things I have done in my life and losing hope that God wanted nothing to do with me. NOT TRUE! Learning from the study, Church and the Bible God loves me. It is the enemy that has the hold on us, not God. Rest easy dear friends. It is good and evil in this world it took me a while to understand. Sharing this first thing will sound a bit scary. You will have a better understanding that the difficulties to come are manageable with the right tools. God says, “No weapon formed against me will prosper.” Remember you have all the promises the Bible says we have. You must start believing with unwavering faith. God wants you to think about it before you receive it. Try it; this is where I stumbled hard.

Friends would tell me that God will never give you more than you can handle. I hated hearing that. The problem is it’s true. You can’t fight for the heavyweight championship of the world without getting knocked on your backside a few times. You will find the strength just as I did. Even from the darkest depths of your mind, a path to peace is available for anyone who seeks order.

Women readers who are moms can relate to this. Labor pains are excruciating, but the result is the greatest joy of your life. Once you go through labor and deliver yourself from hell, you’ve created in your head. The sooner the greatest joy in your life will be at hand.

Remembering always that the enemy will fill your mind with doubt, fear, this will never work. What happens is when you believe you’ll quit. Then the enemy wins. The only loser in this fight is you. It may seem as though God is not listening to you. He is, I thought this so many times. I would scream at God in my vehicle “get in the game” why are you forsaking me. He is not; the devil is treacherous in your mind.

You will learn to live with your soul, not your head. The mind will never win over your destiny. What you can control is how quickly you see your future reveal itself. Frustration, hate, anger, despair will only cause you to delay your life moving forward. You must begin to see yourself happy, joyous, and free of pain. Don’t scream, “I can’t do it.” If you do, you’re right. None of this is easy to hear; I get that!

What I am telling you is if you get knocked down get up. Tell yourself NOT THIS TIME; I get to win this time. Get that loser mentality out of your head. It won’t come all at once. You must recondition your mind for good. If you have suffered for a long-time change won’t happen overnight.

The mind will fight you to the point of utter exhaustion during a marathon where you will hit the wall many times. Just like marathon runners, you convince yourself that it’s a mind trick; it’s not your reality. Reality is you already have, peace, love, and happiness. We as Christians must learn to accept it. You think acceptance would be easy, for most it’s not. Stay in faith even when you don’t seem to have confidence in anything. Tell God you don’t see a way, but you trust he will make a move!

One of the most important things I can tell you. Don’t help God, don’t impose your will on a situation that needs Gods hand not yours — for example, separated from your spouse. It’s a situation that you did not want, hit you out of the blue and you’re heartbroken. You call your spouse saying I promise I will change; I love you, please let’s work it out. That’s imposing your will. It’s not you are helping even though you think you’re fighting for your marriage. STOP!

If you want to trust God for a change in your life follow along in this book, I share what mistakes I made so you can have greater insight. You need to believe that God is handling the heart of both you and your spouse. You are jumping in does not help. Trust that if you give your marriage to God, asking him for his will be done. Someone asked me two questions:

Do you want a perfect, loving, happy marriage?

Do you want your spouse back with no change?

Relationships meant to be will be. Maybe, God is moving this person out of your life to make room for your deep down in your soul exact right person to appear when we let our destiny unfold naturally what a blessed life we will have.

It’s not always easy to see clearly during times of adversity. Remember we’re in a title fight for our life. The enemy will put horrible, terrible things in our head or before us. We can get betrayed; our life shattered into pieces.

How you get up and tell the enemy “that’s all you got” I have the power of God almighty who controls my life. A quote I love, “when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the Devil says oh shit he’s up. “Anything beats living a life of misery. It’s where I am at, and I pray you are too. Now is our time and “I ain’t going down no more”—Rocky Balboa

The fight will come hard, but if you keep reading, you will find the help you need to get up and fight even harder. The tools you will learn will make those fights fewer. Your spiritual armor will see you through.

Stay strong because God is getting ready to show out in your life in ways you could never have imagined. Your blessings are on the other side of this battle; what was meant for your harm God will bless your life in ways that only he can.

The stronger the attack, the bigger the blessing. Crazy, but when you get kicked right in the gut hard. When you walk trusting God, you know, he is getting you ready to show out in your life! The pain you may encounter along the way in strengthening your resolve. Helping you be able to face anything the enemy throws in your approach to disrupt your life.

Everything I am writing about what I have experienced. So, if you’re saying what does this guy know about my pain, he won’t understand what I’m going through in my life. It’s because I’ve lived it same as you.  I choose not to lose any more! Hope you come along!

Are you ready for some good news?

What if you could look at all this doom & gloom as coaching experience. That with a different perspective to life’s challenges you could get through with expectations of winning. You’re excited to face these challenges with a new open mind. You believe now that you will win no matter the obstacles.

Well, friends get ready for chapter two because you are about to learn how to WIN!

To purchase this book click the cover to visit Amazon:

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