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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Choice, Decide Already!

Choice

If I asked you to make a choice right now to be happy, but you’re suffering through a terrible divorce. Could you be satisfied just by making that choice? The short answer is yes! Before you hit the refund, button hears me out.

What stops you from choosing to be happy in a moment is you. I should say years of conditioning yourself that you can’t just simply change. Why can’t you? Should be the real question.

Let’s take our divorce scenario to a little higher level. If divorce is imminent even though you don’t want a divorce.

Two options:

Option A:

  • Stay bitter, sad, emotionally done, not having any thought as to a new future.

Option B:

  • “Choose” to be happy. Yes, the person whom your life revolved around is gone. The Universe, in its infinite wisdom, is taking you down a new path. Presuppose for a moment that this new life if given a chance, has more love, joy, happiness, and fulfillment than you ever thought possible.

If you choose to be happy, “Option B” certainly has more promise. The simple act of choosing one from another is incredibly powerful.

Over a year ago someone that I am proud to call a friend explained away my own pain from divorce like this: “If you could have your wife back today and go right back to the way things were, OR, you could have the relationship you never thought possible. Which would you choose?”

That’s when I knew that I had to make a choice for myself. If something in your life is meant to be, then it shall.

The real rub is that for years-and-years, we conditioned our minds towards limiting beliefs. We end up saying:

  • If I just change, she will come back.
  • If I learn to keep my mouth shut.
  • If I lose twenty pounds.

The problem is NOT you, it’s the paradigm that is so entrenched in your head you can’t shake it off. Using the divorce analogy just scrapes the surface of this problem. This book is not a “how to get over divorce” book. NO, far from it.

How to change limiting beliefs, the unknowing lies we tell ourselves every day. What our journey well reveals to us, we can make a choice and move on, NOW!

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Choice do you really want me to pick?

Yes, friends easier said than done. However, very doable. With some guided practice, you can learn to decide, stick with it, no regrets, and blaze a trail for others to follow. Pardon the cliché!

How do you we make these changes you ask? Training our minds to a new healthy reality. Who says you can’t do something; you need only look in the mirror? That’s who!

Part 1:

How many years have you heard phrases like?

  • You/I don’t have that kind of luck.
  • No education, you can’t do that.
  • You’re too fat.
  • You’re too skinny.
  • You’re not part of that social group.
  • Oh, honey, why don’t you lower your sights to something more realistic.

From as many years ago as you’re able to remember we’ve all heard the limiting phrases getting stuffed into our mind.

What is being communicated to you is, “If I can’t do you surely cannot.” By well-meaning parents, family, friends, and other well-wishers. So, if these lovely people are telling me this, it must be true. NO, not only NO; HELL NO!

The only person on this planet that knows whether YOU can do anything is YOU! It does not matter what your Mom, Dad, Grandmother, Friend, Boss, has to say about what you can do. The ONLY person that knows is your period!

People close to you will naturally want you to play it safe. None of us want to see a friend hurt. Who the heck says you must hurt? I’m not shouting at the top of my lungs “oh God, don’t write the first Novel you failed English literature.”

Again, I go back to the systematic brainwashing society shoves down our brain. How many folks have completed Marathons in wheelchairs or with lost limbs? Hundreds if not thousands. Why Choice! The choice NOT to allow something horrific to bring them down.

Mediocrity is a disease of the mind. It’s a cure; “Choice!”

Part 2:

How to break free, so Choice comes at will.

  1. Meditation / Prayer: see yourself through this practice as free of limitation. That my life, my choice to see it through as a vessel of the Universe. Not some, “I don’t have this or that mentality.”
  2. Put the affirmation “Choice” Refrigerator, bathroom mirror, reminders on your phone daily.
  3. Learn to believe in yourself. Take the training wheels off your life. When you feel you can’t do something learn to ask yourself; who said! With enough training and knowledge, you can bloody well do anything you want!
  4. Practice, Practice, Practice! Do not give up or in at the first sign of difficulty. This is something you must want as much as air. We’ve all heard the businessman who asked a guru “how do I become successful,” the Guru replied, “meet me at the beach at 6:00 AM and don’t be late.” The next morning the businessman is on time, and the Guru takes him out into the water up to there chest. The Guru grabs the man and holds his head down in the water until the man was in great distress. Lifting the man out of the water, the businessman screams, “Why did you do that?” The Guru calmly replies, “When you want success as-bad-as, you wanted to breathe, then you will find success!”
  5. Gain knowledge. The reason people quit is insufficient knowledge. If people aren’t saying to you, “Wow, I have no idea you could do that.” If the wow factor is not WOW, then gain more knowledge. Become a voracious reader.

Nothing on God’s good earth prevents you from achieving anything. If you set your mind to something, trust that God will give you the knowledge, and move the Universe into alignment for you. Believe that as much as you want to breathe (like our Guru analogy).

All it takes is a choice. Your choice to stay status quo or your choice to live a life most would only dream about.

“Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.”–Bradley Whitford

Questions or Comments:

 

 

Own that Shi*

We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.”—Henry Rollins

One of the most relaxed moments in a Movie for me was when Harley Quin tells El Diablo after he tells his story about his powers “Own that Shit, own it!”—Harley Quin (from the movie Suicide Squad).

This article is about “Own that shit.” Whatever your life has doled out to you own it. But I received divorce papers, my car got repossessed, my boyfriend cheated on me, Own it! Don’t make the tragic mistake of pawning your life’s shit onto someone else. There is a reason this sounds harsh. Hang with me here!

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The absolute only person on this earth that can save you is you. Owning our shit means not being the victim. My ex-wife wanted a divorce, I never did. Until I was able to hold that shit, I was an absolute mess. When I realized over time that my destiny is in another direction from hers. If I want to understand what God truly has for me, then I need to head down a new path.

Own the fact that whatever befalls your life you inevitably must own it. The great news is you can. Learning to accept the trials of your life will open a whole new unimaginable freedom. Not a day goes by that I don’t recognize regret in my own life. We all have regrets. It’s taking ownership that indeed mistakes, defeats may come and go. Accept them and move on past summers ghost.

Everything in our life is seasonal. As we learn to own our experience good or bad, we will march through to the next adventure in our life. Not all movies have a happy ending, but, we still go see them. If you’ve never seen the movie Steel Magnolias, this movie will bring out real raw emotion. A loss that tears the very fabric of your life.

When you can turn tragedy in, own it, accept it, you can truly move on. Yes, some loss is monstrous and will require periods of mourning. However, at some point in time to begin your life anew. You simply need to own it.  Accept that life will move on without your participation. Ask yourself if your pain worth your life?

For example, if your child sees you cry, do they not come to you and say, “are you okay, please don’t cry.” Why, because they’ve heard you ask them the same question. In this scenario, you lose this child to cancer. The pain is unimaginable, to the point you truly just want to die. Ask yourself if your child was before you in this sad state, would they not want you to not cry and feel better? Loss is far-and-away the worse pain we as humans will ever experience.

At some point in time, we will have to own that pain. Accept what it is that nothing in this world will change the circumstance. We can wish it, pray for it, scream at God for it, but nothing will change. The only thing that can is me/you!

When my wife filed for divorce it for a time devastated my life. I did not want to know “nothing from nothing.” No amount of crying, yelling at God or the depression I fell in would change the outcome. I simply had to own it. Realize that for as much as I wish we could be together, that part of my life was over. The real question: just because that part of your life is over does that mean the rest of my life is over as well? Of course, it does not! A new dawn, the destiny God truly has for you is waiting, own it.

Through our pain, we learn to own our life. We learn to accept that life will throw a fastball that hits you right in the noodle and knocks you the fuck out. You can stay down, or you can Own that Shit! When you can tell the enemy let me promise you one thing when I wake up every morning the first words out of your mouth will be “Oh Shit he’s Up!” (a phrase you perhaps have read like a quote, can ring true in your life).

Coming to terms with owning our life good or bad. You will find peace, hope, faith, love, and courage. I did it and so can you, God Bless!

Comments or Questions:

Stay in Faith Even When You Feel Hurt

Faith is something I am learning does pay off. For the last few months more so than any other time in my life, faith guides my life, but it does have its challenges!

Today for example: not only do I not want a divorce, but I also have to pay for it. Even though I don’t want a divorce it’s God has seen fit for my life to take a new direction. So faith will mean that I accept this, don’t freak out.

The choice I am making is to be okay with the divorce. My destiny is not with my current wife. So instead of curling up into a ball in my bed, I choose to accept the separation. Doesn’t mean I have to like it I do not. Believe in God requires faith and sometimes faith involves sacrifice. None of us have to like it, but if you want God’s promises in your life, then you have to embrace change.

In the midst of a break-up, we all want to believe we can’t live without our spouse. The pain of loss is the same as if they (God forbid) passed away. The damage is painful, and it damn well hurts. However, when you examine the fact that what is happening is for a more significant reason not yet revealed. Where I was in my life I through “all-in” with my faith that God has a plan for my life.

Looking back on my life the pattern has been the same. So breaking old paradigms, setting a new course and letting life open up without me imposing my will. Don’t misunderstand I do things to make sure my life is moving forward. The amazing thing is that God has blessed me with many new things.

faith in God

Not new things like guy toys. What he has given me are strength and modern wisdom. The power to let go of my marriage to see what God’s plan is for my life. This indeed has been a journey of tears and sorrow. I pwill freely admit times hurt like hell, put myself in a very dark place in my head. Depression kicked my ass for a time.

It’s when at my darkest moment, contemplating hurting myself. Because life didn’t make sense for me to even stay on this earth. It was at this moment that it came to me, that if I was going to save my own life despite the fact that I honestly felt worthless.

Spiritual life here I come! It’s taken prayer, visualization, church, and Christian friends to help guide my way. In my darkest moments, I tell God I am not losing this time I am with God. If you’ve read my blog, you will know the miracles that have blessed my life in the last few months. Without hesitation, my life right now is a miracle gift from God.

So today when it sucks that I have to move on and forward. “I am.” Just like any other day I pray to God “this time is for you, not I and I am not losing anymore.”

If you’re going through a break-up or divorce. I as you feel the pain, loss, and hurt. Just don’t believe life is over. It’s not easy, but if you decide you win this time, your new destiny will be more than you imagined or asked God for. Stay strong and please send me a note below if you need to vent!

God Bless!!!

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Change are You Ready

When we struggle the pain can become debilitating. Finding yourself in bed, unplugging from the world. It’s not the answer. We know it’s not the answer, but we can’t find the courage to move. I wish I could tell you here is a magic potion that will lift you out of bed healthy and whole again. Natural is not what will get you out of a deep depression.

The reason it’s not easy is to build strength. If a change could occur with no real effort, it would be short-lived. Here is the thing, do you want it to be comfortable so later down the road you won’t have the strength to NOT get in this dark place? The easy answer is yes, the deep in your gut answer is, it will be painful and hard, but let’s go.change,God,peace

Real change comes through our pain. I know it hurts I do! Most of my life has been depressed. It’s torn my life to bits, cost me beautiful relationships, it’s cost me jobs, family, and a world of other troubles. So believe me, I get it. So this time, I chose the pain. The enemy has thrown wave after wave of garbage in my head. To the point, I have been screaming in my truck stop the pain cursing the world I could not move another step.

I did move another step. What we together must learn to do is live in our soul, not in our head. Our noodle will entirely turn our worlds upside down. Without a doubt, if you stay in your head, the pain will continue. So what do I mean about living in your soul?

Finding a spiritual connection to God, the universe, Devine source, you have to believe in a higher power than yourself. I choose God, but do understand if you don’t have a religious background this can be as though someone is speaking a foreign language to you that you have no clue what they’re saying. The beautiful thing is that’s okay. Together our journey begins.

My entire life, I may have stood at the door of a church a dozen times. Never understood this whole God thing as I called it. Happy to report at this juncture of my life I am entirely convinced that without a spiritual believe my life is stifled where it is. The last half of my life will have meaning and purpose found through God. Having faith in something bigger than ourselves.

One thing is for sure if we’re not ready for a change we won’t. Finding that level of commitment will most likely come from being so tired you merely give in to the fact that something has to give. It’s okay to be there, and it does get better. When a decision to change our lives is made you can be sure that your head is about to say “oh no you don’t we love our pain” you will have to fight with everything that is you do not fall back.

I wish I could tell you it will be easy. What we have to keep on our mind is a lifetime of a conditioned response to tribulation. That’s not going to change overnight or without a commitment to improving. You may have to get up, dust yourself off, and get back on the horse. This is a horse that won’t break easily.

Just when you think you can’t get up again, get up still! What successful people will tell you is the reason they’re successful is they’re willing to take one more step than you are. NO matter the pain of the action, they make it and win. You must adopt this mentality. I can hear many of you saying you don’t have the strength, I’m too young, too old, to set in my ways, I’m a girl, I’m “a,” I’m “a,” blah blah, blah!!! Stop IT!

We all have the strength to change. You can find the fight in you to move past whatever it is that binds you. Loss, finances, divorce, whatever the hell it is you can beat it. Yes, it hurts like hell, but YOU have the strength. Yell, scream, get mad, and tell the world that by God, this stops NOW. My life has meaning and grace. Your past, your biography does not define who you are today. The current situation does not represent the life we’re all intended to live.

Yes, the place you are may really suck. It’s not a life sentence. It is only if you let it. Don’t allow it. Even if it’s a baby step and you confess on your bended knee that change is coming, change is happening and you choose to live happily. Take action no matter the size. A step forward is a step forward. If you get knocked back, take two steps forward. The pain will pass and become easier to deal with.

One thing I can share is meditation is fantastic to help guide your mind to peace. I use meditation music with headphones in my practice. What you want to achieve is relaxation at first. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Nice cleansing breaths. Let the music relax your body, get in peace. Your head maybe running a hundred miles an hour. Breathe! It will slow down, and it’s okay if it takes time.

When you feel relaxed, begin to vision peace raining over you. A gods presence in your mind. See yourself happy, smile while you do this. Trust me, you will be amazed. See yourself the way you would love to have your life. Meditate on it. Vision it in your mind. What your thoughts believe your life will be. It works, be open and try. If it takes a few times, then it takes a few times. This is not a test, it’s a reconditioning of your mind to relax. For most of us, we don’t let our mind have any time off. We’re horrible bosses of our mind. Be a partner in your account, not a master. Relax, and you will find peace!

Find a way to begin to put aside all that troubles you. Walk, meditate, do something that gets you out of your head in a healthy way (no glass of wine is no the answer, even though it should be, LOL). A little levity is what is needed. Laugh, God loves to hear us laugh. Remember nothing worthwhile comes easy. This will be a bumpy road for as long as you let it be. Our life, happy or sad is our choice. Today choose to be satisfied. If you have to say it a thousand times a day “I am happy” then say it.

I would love to hear from you, get in peace, happiness is yours:

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