Principles to Live By? Oh, Really? What Little Wonders?

truthholdingDo you ever wake up in the morning and ask yourself what events have or will have the most impact on your life whether today or in the future? Do you agree that some stories in our lives are like tiny ripples that do not carry much weight, while others are like large waves that hit harder, deeper, and with more impact? My story like your story is no different from a million others out there and it is no sadder, brighter, or glorious than that of someone else’s. Therefore, we all need to wake up and remind ourselves that it is just life and no matter what it (life) throws at you (us), it’s you… that ultimately sets the course of future events. Haha so what is the point? What am I trying to say here?

What is the story?

If you have been a reader of mine for any time, you know that my story is that much like a bag of mixed marbles. The more strange things that could happen will happen or the more marbles played the more different the results. Who said that anyway? Is that like Murphys Law? What may go wrong, will go wrong? After many difficult relationships (mostly cause of me) I spent many years as a single dad trying to figure out the who, what, when, and where of this single dad thing and trying to make my kids life as memorable as possible. WOW, that sucked! Actually, and while it may have sucked, I have had the opportunity to experience life as what life truly should be…fun, full of enrichment, love, and meaning.

Single Dad to Engaged Dad

Yes, and that’s right I have decided to take the next step in my life and marry the greatest woman that I have ever met. Not to mention that my kid is just one year ahead of her kid and they are like best friends. And, Yes… this is the woman of my dreams.  Needless to say and whether you’re in a relationship or going it alone you can benefit from what I have learned and the following the steps below in order to create your own healthy relationship(s).

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1) Be courageous…

…about realizing who you are. Many of us at some point decided that we would map out our lives—this could be as simple as where you’re going to live, how many children you will have, or what career you want now or in the future. This could also be encouraging or devastating to the point where you may not question whether it’s what you truly want or what life truly wanted for you. Therefore, when something unexpected happens that changes your life plans, shake it off, become vulnerable and encourage yourself to do more and then you can feel very more comfortable, brave, and ride those feelings (waves)because you may have just discovered what it is that you are truly in search of?

2) Be truthful…

…with yourself and others that you have contact with. Even though life hasn’t turned out the way you had planned or maybe it has, it does not mean that you have failed. There is no need to make excuses, judge yourself (others), or shy away from this truth. And YES… it’s okay to feel and hurt, as these are natural feelings and are a part of being honest with yourself. Accept what is and learn… it is what it is. The sooner you realize this the sooner you will be able to think clearly and take the next steps in the right direction with a positive mindset whether in a relationship or going it alone.

3) Be open…

…to an unusual life and to new understandings. There’s no point hanging on to what could’ve, should’ve, or would’ve been, because it will only make you (us) feel bitter and offended. With an open mind you can truly let new experiences into your life. You never know what exciting events may come your way, but that’s the beauty of it (watching waves whether peaceful or dangerous).

4) Be calm and kind…

…with yourself. Much like #2 and whether you believe what’s happened in your life is your fault or not, you must be gentle with and forgive yourself along with others.  It serves no one, especially not you, if you don’t “talk” to yourself or others encouragingly or lovingly. To create a life of purpose, we must first love ourselves then others, because only then can our actions come from the heart. And when your actions come from the heart, you will be able to see clearly, feel strong, and are sure of your choices.

5) Be trusting…

…of yourself and all others in the universe. All you can do is your best and go with the flow—and trust that your life is turning out as it should be. Going with the flow can be challenging, especially if you’re someone like me who likes to be in control (damn Leo’s). So remind yourself constantly that even when you try so hard to create a life that you want, the laws of nature may decide otherwise. And how you choose to respond to it is what matters most—that’s really what life’s all about anyway isn’t it?

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If you flow with the nature of life (waves), you will have the strength to handle everything that comes your way. I always wish that… I would have never heard of the saying, had I had known then what I know now… Why, well because if I hadn’t done what I did and met those people who I did, I wouldn’t be where I am today! Happy, satisfied and for once looking forward to more of what life has to throw my way only this time, as a family not as a single parent. How much more truth can that provide? Embracing a new relationship or riding/watching a new wave roll in can be downright scary but being courageous, truthful, open, calm, and trusting can help you roll in not crash into the beach. Now that summer has arrived get out there and catch a few new waves yourself and enjoy those memorable sunsets.

With Every Ending there is a NEW Beginning?

What is it they say? “With every beginning, there comes an end” or “with every ending new-beginningcomes a new beginning.” Just like I mentioned in a previous post “everything happens for a reason” or “it is what it is” I have to say that this so called all good things must come to an end also has to be true? Or is it? How do we know when things are coming to end then? What are the signs? Does this also apply to our relationships, education, career, etc.? Or is this saying just the cycle of life and products? Over the last week and if not the entire year, I have been asking myself this and many similar questions. Why? Well over the last year, I have started to pay greater attention to detail and the shelf life of many things including that of my relationships, career objectives, milk, groceries, vehicle, etc. Why if this saying isn’t true, do most things we purchase and consume have an expiatory date? It seems that YES, most things (if not all) have a beginning and an end? Or all good things must come to an end?

So how do we determine what exactly the beginning and/or end is? The obvious is we are born and then we die… YES? How about relationships or your career? If you are young or old you have probably noticed that, most relationships and your job, regardless of how you meet or the job you’re in all have trends. These trends usually go something like this… awesome beginning (honeymoon), an okay middle (comfort zone), and really bad endings (the dreaded unknown). In my life and regardless of whether in a relationship or career these trends seem to always go the same way but unlike the cycle of life (ending in death), I am still alive, kicking, and in the end have come out the other side as better person. I am a better father, a better man with the woman I love, and I am a better man in the job I am in. Does this then mean that we all should embrace change, new beginnings, and endings to things? Or is it just me? Do we need to give more chances to others, our partners, and career paths fostering and/or focusing more on the middle stage(s)?

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Let’s face it, the beginning of anything is downright scary just like my kid changing schools this year. On the flipside, the end is just as scary if not more! Starting something new or letting go of something you care about is extremely hard whether it is a relationship or your career. However, what I have learned over the years (especially raising my son, in relationships, and jobs) is that both beginnings and endings are a necessity of life, just as we are born and we die. In order for us to remain active, happy, and healthy, we must allow ourselves the opportunity for new beginnings in our relationships and jobs, just like we must allow ourselves the opportunity for endings, so we can create more beginnings. This my friends is what we must do because if nothing ever came to an end, nothing could ever begin. Without scary endings and new beginnings, I wouldn’t be the same person I am now just like I know you are. In fact, I couldn’t be happier at how things have turned out in my life with my son, my relationship, and career. Although I can’t say for sure how long I will be in this NEW middle part of my life (hopefully until I die), I can honestly say… For every ending, there is an even greater beginning. Don’t be afraid of endings and surely don’t let yourself be afraid of new beginnings.

Thoughts? If you have any, please feel free to leave your comments here, reach out to me online or in person, and/or through any of my other online mediums. Until next time my friends keep smiling, embrace those you’re with, do away with things stressing you out, and for heaven’s sake create some new beginnings already.

Do Simple “Experiences” Create the Most Long-Term “Memories”

memoryIs wondering why it is that most things we do personally or with our children have to be planned out? Do you ever find or catch yourself creating way to many lists for future endeavors, work, events, shopping, meals, tasks, etc., or better yet do you ever find yourself creating these same lists for your child(ren) future life? Why is it that we all have to plan so much? Is it me or were some of your earliest memories in life or as a child, experiences of things that were left unplanned? Or did you have to go to some fancy place or do something extraordinary in order to have a clear memory ingrained in your life long DNA?

As I continue to grow older and especially now as a parent (single parent), I am continually, asking myself questions such as these, as I continue to provide advice and guidance to my little one. In fact, me and my little guy get out and do a lot of things (experiences) that I truly believe help create (memories) that will last a life time. However and as I have said in previous posts, I believe that some of my own and my son’s best memories are those experiences that are as simple as throwing a ball, doing household chores, or reading together. As parents, I believe that we all have the ability to create positive and happy present day experiences in life that will turn into some of the most impressionable and future memories for our young ones all without having to be rich or attend events that we think are leaving long term memories entrenched into our little ones memory bank. Yes?

The fact is almost all the “experiences” that our children encounter daily, weekly, or monthly are helping our children create “memories” that will help them later in life as an adult. All too often, I see others preparing themselves and their little ones for what others want them to be, not what they want to be. We as individuals and parents have great control over our lives “yes” but at least let us use that power appropriately and not use it to create present undue stress or control over our children’s lives. Life is already difficult enough without the added pressure that we place on ourselves at home, work, or at school. Maybe and just maybe if we dumb things down a bit and enjoy more of the simple everyday “experiences,” we would remember many more past experiences that helped up produce some of our best “memories.”

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I know that there are a million and one ways we can all dumb things down but here are three things we can all do today that aren’t subject to unseen future events.

1) Money, trips, and expensive events are not the only things that we should need to do in order to have experience that turn into a long-term memory. Being extravagant is such a big misconception and perhaps one of the most common things I see daily. So, we all need to do a better job at enjoying present day experiences, as we don’t need to spend so much time and money dazzling ourselves and little ones. Instead, we all need to appreciate more the small windows of time we are given with each other and just simply enjoy ourselves and children unconditionally.

2) Rituals are perfect for creating experiences that turn into long-term memories. There are probably endless “experiences” you and/or your family does weekly, monthly, or yearly (i.e. holidays, birthdays, festivals, etc) that help you create lasting “memories.” Instead of waiting for these big events, how about creating new rituals “experiences” such as Friday night pizza, Saturday morning breakfast, or Sunday night wrap of the week to create more long-term “memories?”

3) Finally yet importantly, we all need to do a better job at reinforcing all the positive experiences in our everyday lives. My son and I do this almost every day. Instead of discussing with others the negative things that happened today, why don’t you remember the positive things more by simply discussing the positive “experiences” you had that will ultimately become lasting “memories, not the negative ones. This can be as simple as creating a scrapbook, using social media, or simply writing more positive “experiences” down, so you can train yourself, brain, and little ones to notice these positive experiences, so you can have more positive long-term “memories.”

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Creating everyday “experiences” that turn into long-term “memories” are simple and super important in our lives, as well as our children and others we touch. By using positive reinforcements in your daily life, you will find that you are laying down tile that will last a lifetime, not just carpet that will eventually be destroyed. We all owe it to ourselves and little ones to lead with the good not follow with the bad. I can’t remember all those expensive or fancy things I did as a child but I do have a vivid memory of all those experiences as simple as building a camp, riding my bike, or just simply spending time with my parents, what says you? What experiences in the past do you remember most that you have preserved in your long-term memory bank? Feel free to reach out here, personally, or any of my other social sites with your feedback, as I have said before… it takes an army, not just a team to accomplish more. Otherwise, thanks for stopping by and until next time… KEEP SMILING

What are you creating in Life, LESSONs or RECIPES?

Do you ever wake up in the morning and wonder and/or think about the lessons others have taught you in life? If so, how have the lessons you learned at a young or older age continuing to influence your life so far? As with most things happening or have happened in my own life, I continually find myself reflecting back to things others have taught me most mornings, as these lessons are now helping me teach my own child lessons of his own. On that note, I recently came across a book published last year by the Andersons who are teachers in Michigan titled “Liam’s Fishing Lesson With Grandpa: Life Lessons of Liam and Lila,” that reminds me about some of the important life lessons we are taught but may or may not remember early in life. Needless to say, with any of my posts, there is nothing more that I love to do further than to point readers like you in the direction of other works, writings, and social posts so, you “like me” can continue to teach others (especially our children) about the true lessons of life.

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Additionally, as I continue to build my life around the lessons I have learned, I am also continuing to build this site with quality content and reviews. This is exactly what the Anderson’s book does and represents. The couples book is fictional and tells a real-life story about a young boy who one day decides he would like to go fishing with his grandpa in hopes of reeling in that big catch, which I believe we all are doing every day of our lives whether we are fishing or not… Hoping to reel in that big catch huh? Of course and with any adventure or lesson of life it isn’t always about the result. Rather and wouldn’t you agree that the lesson(s) we learn along the way is/are about… along the way, which this story demonstrates so well by using science, imagination, and illustrations to teach the little ones who at some point may or may not want to look back on the lessons others have taught them in order to teach others. Let us just hope they do for now. Furthermore, this story solidifies the lessons learned with a real life ecology (diagram) project, which the authors also made available in video format via YouTube, which of course… you can Do-It-Yourself (DIY)… Good stuff!

Nonetheless, with any story or lesson in life, they all must come to end or do they? Whether you decide to continue the adventure today by reading this fascinating book with your little ones (wouldn’t recommend it for those under 8) or end the lesson of any other day… that choice is completely up to you. However, remember if you continue the story, the food will still be there for you to eat later, and if you decide to end the lesson or story you need to still fire up that grill to cook the lesson. Or, in other words, fire up your imagination this weekend or any other week/weekend for that matter in order to create more long-term lessons and memories. Oh ya, that reminds me if you decide to read this story (you and your little ones 8+) the authors also leave you with a recipe at the end, which Liam uses to prepare that big one caught earlier in the day. What a perfect way to end a lesson or story especially now that we are well into the heat of summer. What do you think? Are you creating life lessons that your or other children can build upon or look back at or are you just simply creating a lesson to make a meal for that day? Whatever you are doing in life, I hope this story (get the book already) and post helps you realize what roles you and I need to play in order to create additional lessons and memories for ourselves and others we touch along the way.

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As with any/all of my posts, I would love to hear your thoughts and or opinions. Not to mention, if you want to connect further with the authors of this book do so via their Facebook page or connecting further with me on any of my/your social sites. Thanks again for stopping by and as usual until next time… KEEP SMILING  ╍●‿●╍

Do we EVER really find what it is we are looking FOR?

Here you have it: People who know what they are looking for in life are the ones who actually make an effort to figure out what they really want in their life. Say what? In other words, do you find yourself genuinely satisfied or dissatisfied with yourself, income, home, and/or relationship if you’re in one? Even if you are happy with these things, are you consistently finding yourself looking for something better whether it is new landscaping inside or outside your house, a new recipe, job, car, friends, etc.? Do you find that you spend entirely too much time in your life trying to keep up with others, which cuts into your own happiness? I ask again… do you/we ever really find what it is we are looking for in life?

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I will be the first to tell you that are own human nature does not allow us to be content and if you are then lying to yourself, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough to get more, or you just might be content with the status quo. But how can anyone possibly be content with the status quo? Seriously? I’m not saying that there is not a way to be content or people cannot be satisfied in life with what they have, instead I’m saying that most of us blame and/or pretend that other people in our lives are the ones that cause us to be dissatisfied. Make since? Does dissatisfaction actually help create satisfaction? Or does unhappiness actually help create happiness?

“Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well lived.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Over the years, I have learned that satisfaction, happiness, or finding what it is we are really looking for is in fact the by-product of living well just like Eleanor Roosevelt stated. We all have the right to be happy and we are the only ones getting in our own way of being satisfied or finding what we are truly looking for. As I continue to age, I am continuing to find what I am truly looking for in life, as my dissatisfaction with many things has indeed helped me to develop, improve, build, and accomplish many more things that I necessarily would not have. In other words and in as simple of a form I can state is that my dissatisfaction in life has indeed created satisfaction in my life. You?

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So, there you have it. Will you ever find what it is that you are looking for? Will you always be dissatisfied with the decisions you make/made or will you actually find what it is you are looking for and become satisfied with the things you do have? You graduated from school, got the degree or degrees, found the job, house, friends, and partner you desired. You have indeed found what you are looking for in life, so stop trying to tell yourself that you have not! Instead of creating doubt or unhappiness today, start creating satisfaction and happiness by embracing the things that you do have in your life (especially our children), as this simple suggestion will not only brighten your own outlook on life but also the outlook others have on their our lives. What is it they say? Happiness or unhappiness is contagious, so let’s all do a better job at transmitting happiness in our own lives, thus creating happiness in others. As always and with any of my articles, I hope you enjoyed it, look forward to your opinions here or on any of my other social sites, and your help spreading this or any of my other works with others. Moreover, until next time, and like always remember to KEEP SMILING, as it really does look good on you (>‿◠)✌