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!

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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.

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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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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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Peace with God

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”–Mother Teresa

If you can be honest enough with yourself, most of us would say our head is jumbled up with garbage. So much so we couldn’t hear God if he used a megaphone. Arguably my worst trait, how about you?

Finding peace and quiet enough to hear Gods love is for most of us a challenge. We have conditioned ourselves to the constant moving of the mechanism we call our noodle. Our minds are constantly churning the garbage dump that has become our thoughts.

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This is a battle for me. So now I am learning to allow God’s love through meditation. Here is how I do it:

  • Using headphones, I put meditation music on and focus on the music to relax my thoughts. “I am” a meditation that the late Dr. Wayne Dyer put out on YouTube. It’s amazing.
  • Make a time you know you won’t be disturbed. Turn off cell phone unless you’re using it for the music. Put on Do Not Disturb while listening, it turns off notifications.
  • After relaxed, then see yourself in the state-of-mind that you want to be. Learn to experience the peace-of-mind that comes with relaxing your thoughts.
  • Don’t fall asleep!
  • Allow yourself a half hour.

Learn to find God by relaxing your thoughts!

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Beginners Guide to Meditation

Meditation is a fantastic way to help still your mind. Allowing you to relax in ways I am confident you never have before. Meditating also will enable you to visualize what your heart desires. Getting you into a state of bliss.

The great news is this is not hard at all to do or practice. The steps to get started are easy to learn.

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Let’s get started with what you need before you begin to meditate:

  1. Using meditation music helps a lot. If you have headphones for your smartphone, this works great. Headphones help drown out ambient noise that can distract your concentration. The music will help you focus your mind.
  2. Have a place you can either sit in a comfortable pillow, chair, or lay down (you don’t want to fall asleep) soft but not so that you sleep. We want to be awake but entirely pleasant.
  3. If possible turn off cell phone notifications. It’s essential to not break your concentration.
  4. The most important thing before you begin is that you’re comfortable. Comfy clothes, bare feet, warm temperature, and NO distractions.
  5. Think about what you would like to focus on during your meditation practice. Try to think only about one thing, for example, pick one; relaxation, happiness, let go of stress. If you have something, then use it.
  6. Remember there is a reason its called a practice! Over time you will get excellent.
  7. There is no real time limit. What I teach is continue for 5 minutes and continue until you feel like you have finished. Find the bliss enjoy it and leave your meditation practice on a peak note.

Now that you have the stuff you need where to begin:

  1. Get into a comfortable position. It’s not a bad idea to stretch for a moment just loosen up your body, nothing fancy just reach.
  2. Turn on the music and begin to relax.
  3. Take a few deep cleansing breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Fill your lungs with happiness and joy, exhale all the dark.
  4. As you finish the cleansing breaths, begin to focus on your breathing. Nice lung filling breaths in through the nose out through the mouth. No strains in breathing just lovely and smooth. Filling your body with Clean healing oxygen and exhaling dark black stress, tension, and so on.
  5. Continue to breath and let your body completely relax. Remove any thought from your head, all you want to concentrate on is in with the good and out with the bad. Relax!
  6. As you feel yourself relaxing, enjoy the moment, be present in that moment. (A side note here, if you’re having trouble, can’t relax or your head is running ninety to nothing, be patient. This may take a couple of sessions to master).
  7. Look through your mind’s eye and see yourself happy, stress-free, tension free, in a place that makes you happy. Feel the emotions, be grateful in this moment.
  8. Rinse and Repeat! Practice daily.

The power of meditation can only be experienced. Whatever, preconceived notion you might have. Have an open heart and give it a try.

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