Sharpening Your Little Voice

A while back I temporarily lost my little dog Clubber, we looked and looked, it was just not like him to run off. I walked around my cul-de-sac looking in everyone’s yards and was preparing to leash up my older dog and start walking the whole neighborhood. My little voice kept saying take the truck and drive around. After another quick search of my house I was getting the leash when the voice nudged me again, take the truck. This time I listened, grabbed my keys and opened the truck door and there sat Clubber. I still don’t know how he got in the truck or why he sat there patiently waiting quietly while me and my three daughters called him frantically for 10 minutes.

I think learning to listen to that little voice is important as a person and even more important to parents, so I searched and searched for a program that would help me sharpen my physic skills. What I found has been a blessing, only into the 15 week course a week now I can already see that it is going to help me focus my attention and increase my awareness. The whole point to this short blog post is to tell you about it. The course is called  Intuition Retreat by Max Highstein click here  or the ad below and look on the left side of the page under Intuition and Higher Guidance, you will see the course there.

 

Good luck in getting to know your higher self :) intuition-250-x-250-02

 

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The Accident that Didnt Happen

I believe that things happen for a reason, that there are no mistakes, and that everything that does happen, happens for your ultimate benefit. After the events of the past two weeks I believe that more than ever, the secret? Learn to look for it. But let me back up a bit and explain.

I must have gotten complacent in my driving, 30 plus years without an accident can do that to you, or maybe my attitude at 50 was. “I’ve survived this long, driving this way, so watch out, here I come!” and that caused the accident that did happen. Traveling to Denver for my job it was late Sunday night after some harrowing delays at the airport, all for a 55 minute flight. But I made it and finally checked into my hotel, tired and hungry. So I headed out again just thinking to get a quick bite. Every time I go to Lakewood, there are new places to eat and as I hurriedly sped down Colfax I spotted a new Cafe Rio and jumped into the next lane to make a quick turn, except there was a car in that lane, albeit in my blind spot, a 130 thousand dollar Mercedes the kind driver was later to tell me. There was damage to both his driver side doors, my front tire blew out. I apologized and made sure he was alright, then we got the Lakewood police and a tow truck on the way. As I sat in the car filling out paperwork, shivering from the early fall frost and making calls to a friendly co-worker to see how the insurance worked on a government rental car, I couldn’t help but to start in on the “Why Me’s?” and “If only’s”. “Why me, Mr. Good Karma, why did I have to wreck my rental car the first night in town?” “If only I had stayed in to eat at the hotel!” “If only I wasn’t in such a damn hurry!” Why?

So we got all the paperwork done and the very nice cop gave me a ride back to my hotel and although weary I couldn’t go to sleep, tons of worries and questions churned through my head with a great deal of regret as well. What would my bosses say? Am I really covered? Will the guy be able to find parts for his super rare car. Will he sue me? The thoughts kept getting worse and worse until finally I took a deep breath and examined each stressful thought with the four questions I learned from Ms Byron Katie at www.thework.com. I have read her books and am getting pretty good at recognizing the falsehood of my stressful thoughts. So eventually I fell asleep. The rest of the week was filled with the training class I was there to take, making tons of phone calls to the police and rental car company trying to get it all straightened out. Stressful week but I noticed something, my driving was much more careful, almost fearful as I would venture out each night for something to eat. It was like I was a new driver again, a healthy dose of fear makes one cautious and fortunately for me it stuck.

The Accident that didn’t happen.

So fast forward two weeks later, I’m back home and it’s my weekend with my three girls, but on this Saturday I have their twin sisters as well, so six of us in one vehicle. We were running errands on a busy Saturday and were just leaving Wal-mart trying to get home for lunch. As usual the traffic was awful as I sat for 3 or 4 minutes waiting to turn left across traffic out of the parking lot. Several cars coming from my left had their turn signals on to turn into the parking lot, here’s my chance I thought, a quick glance to my right and its clear, I only have a second or it will be too late, I start to gun it to get out into the turning lane when a little of the caution I learned in Denver kicks in and I hesitate, just then a car I couldn’t see because it was hidden behind the two turning cars shoots by… like a laser, trying to beat the yellow light to the right. My heart sank, if I would have pulled out that car would have t-boned us hard, hard enough to probably seriously injure my precious cargo. And I understood. I understood how when seemingly bad things happen they are just lessons for us. I understood how it is to be grateful for a “misfortune”. I understood that if I hadn’t had that wake up call in Denver I might be sitting by a hospital bed today or worse attending a funeral. So, yes, I do believe that everything happens for a reason, the trick is to PAY ATTENTION, otherwise the lessons just keep repeating themselves.

The next Monday the rental car company calls me and assures me they will take care of everything, I don’t even have to use my own insurance, this time the price was low and the reward was high, and yes I’m still driving very cautious. A lesson I won’t soon forget…

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How I Got Lazy

Dinner outsideIt’s Thursday afternoon, my girls’ mom is out-of-town so I have them all week. We just got back from camping on Tuesday and I’m still trying to get laundry caught up and the trailer cleaned. So tonight it’s dinner, pick up the house, clean up after dinner and oh by the way to pool water turned green so a trip to the pool store is needed to get that fixed. Time for another load of laundry and now what? They want to go get ice creme. That’s me the lazy dad, that’s my life. Cleaning, fixing, chauffeuring, refereeing, working and once in awhile, resting. So why am I lazy? Because I’m doing it all. I’m doing it all because sometimes that’s easier than fighting with the girls to do chores. I’m lazy because its easier to just do it rather than teach them how. I’m lazy because, well I just got in a rut.

For some reason something clicked the other day as they sat and watched TV and played on their electronic devices while I scrambled trying to do everything. No more. And I know its my own fault, its summer and they are out of school and summers should be filled with a little fun and relaxation but I let it go too far. I realized that the best thing I can do for my girls is to teach them to be self sufficient.

My mom worked full time, not when I was little but when I was in high school, she worked until 6:00 PM every night. I vividly remember the day she told me she was done, done doing my laundry, done ironing my clothes, done leaving meals for me. Not in a mean way, she just explained the situation and told me I was old enough to do those things by myself and that when someday, I was out on my own, I would be glad she did what she did because I would be self sufficient. And I was.

So I sat my girls down and told them they were going to start to learn to be self sufficient, On nights we eat at home, one will help me cook and the other two will clean up. They will do their own laundry and fold their own clothes in addition to keeping their rooms clean. I’m not sure it was the best received news I’ve ever given them, they were certainly more excited to hear we were getting a new refrigerator. But I wasn’t really thrilled when my mom told me either, until I moved out, and realized I could cook for myself and that I didnt need to take laundry home to mom. I knew how to do it and I was proud that I did. Autonomous.

So now it’s just up to me, not to get lazy again. Not to start doing everything again. To be willing to have those arguments and dish out the punishments when expectations aren’t being met. There is some good to those electronics, they hate it when you take them away ;-).

So we’ll see how it goes, right now I need to get up off my lazy butt and go referee and argument. Wish me luck.

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What She Meant to Me

IM000474.JPGNext month my sister would have turned 54, hard to believe its been almost 4 years since she suddenly left us.

The earliest memory I have of my sister was of her putting a plastic guitar into my 4-year-old hands and informing me that we were putting a show on for our parents. The Beenie Tweenies was the name of our group, yes that was really it. Catchy. But even before then she was an influence on my life, when my mom was pregnant, way before ultra sounds, yes I’m old, they were convinced I was to be the second daughter, even had a nice girly name picked out for me. Lisa. Surprise surprise when I showed up as a boy and they had no name. So my parents did what any new parents would have done, they turned the job of naming me over to their 3 1/2 year old daughter. And that’s how I was given the name Bruce, if they had gotten a puppy first he would have probably been Bruce and I would have ended up with Myron or Roger or something else that three-year olds like.

As she grew she took dance and she was a natural. I can remember getting drug along to dance class 40 miles away twice a week and watching her and the other girls dance while my mother and I waited. As I got older dad and I did baseball, basketball, fishing  but my mom and sister were always at dance. As I got even older I looked forward to the recitals, partly because of all the older cute girls that were my sisters classmates but mostly I loved to watch her dance and so did my parents. As she would search for music for her next performance my dad would always tell her, pick something that starts slow and then speeds up so you can and start off with ballet and switch to Jazz, yes this was a hardcore, tough diesel mechanic giving his daughter advice on dance. I guess we were all captivated by her talent. 

Then, there was her heart, as she aged it grew bigger and bigger. Three and a half years a part, a distance that could have been awkward for some siblings, we hardly ever fought. When she was 16 and able to drive, out of the blue one day she asked me if I wanted to go to the movies, and her and I went alone together to see Grease. Now she may have just been so excited to see that dancing movie that she would have taken anybody. But that memory will forever be etched in my mind, my big sister, who I always looked up to, took me to the movies.

And when she started college and had her own apartment with two roommates, she would have me over for lunch. I worked nearby and she would invite me over. She would offer to make a picnic lunch for a buddy and I who had a hot double date with two cuties. It seemed her thoughtfulness had no ending. 

Then she got married and had a beautiful family one son and two daughters, my nieces and nephew, oh how she loved those kids. Then she moved away and when we would visit I don’t think I ever saw her sit down, making dinner, deserts. Cleaning and laundry, all the time with that big radiant smile, never once a complaint. Sometimes I would fall asleep only to wake up about 1:00 AM and still hear her up and about.

You know how this goes, once someone passes you wish you would have told them more often how much they meant to you, and yes I wish I would have told her how much she meant to me, but you always think you have more time. I do however have one moment I’m proud of. It’s the last time I took my three girls to Texas to visit over Thanksgiving. As usual she was going 90 MPH the whole time and sending me to the store about once an hour for something she still needed, that was my job. But once everything was ready and we all sat down, someone suggested we all say one thing we were thankful for. When it was my turn, it finally hit me and I said, “I’m thankful for my sister who works so hard to make everyone else so happy.” Without a word, she got up and came and gave me a hug, with tears in her eyes. To this day, those are the proudest words that I have ever spoken.

And it didn’t stop there, her kindness I mean. When her kids were out on their own, she was buying groceries for homeless people in Cincinnati, and then suddenly it all came to a halt on the day she died. I started my spiritual path when I was 19 and first discovered the martial arts and eastern wisdom, studying everything I could get my hands on over the last 31 years I can truly say that we are here for a few reasons, one of the most important is to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Self sacrifice. Although my sister died way too young in the eyes of everyone she left behind I will argue that in her short life she made more of a positive difference in the lives of others than most of us will do even by living to 100.  

And once again it didn’t end there, I see the same generosity and thoughtfulness in her son. I see her wittiness, beauty and charm in her daughters. And when I’m having a bad day I think about her message on her cell phone when she didn’t pick up. “Smile a lot!” And I do, just like her, and something reminds me that even though we miss her, everything is going to be alright.

Have a great week.

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Close to You

scan0003I was probably about 9 years old, why I remember this day is a mystery to me, but the family, me, my Mom and Dad and sister were shopping. We pulled into the parking lot and my dad went to shut the car off and my mom put her hand on his and stopped him, it was the song on the radio. She said wait, I want to hear this song. She turned to me and my sister in the back and said, kids this is my song to your dad. The song? Close to You by the Carpenters.

 
 
Why do birds suddenly appear
Every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you.
 
Why do stars fall down from the sky
Every time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be
Close to you.
 
On the day that you were born the angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair
Of golden starlight in your eyes of blue.

So we all sat and listened. I think I remember that day because that’s the day I no longer saw my mom as just a mom. It’s the day I saw her as a woman, a woman who loved her man.

If I remember the story right, my dad was 20 and my mom was 15 when they met, she’s the only woman he ever loved. They dated, he waited, and when she was 18 they married. My dad died just one week before their 50th wedding anniversary, my mom 6 weeks later. In between they raised two kids, worked 40 plus years, paid off a home, and well…lived. It wasn’t always smooth, there were fights, lost jobs, my sister could be a pain, I was the perfect child of course. There was even a separation that lasted about a month.

But all in all, they endured and stayed together. My dad, if he had a love language, was acts of service. I don’t think my mom ever put gas in her own car or scraped an icy windshield in the winter. Come to think of it I don’t think she ever had to get in a cold car in the winter, dad would always “Go warm it up”

My mom, had two love languages; Words of affirmation and physical touch. She was always praising us kids and my dad, like the whole song thing and man if you ever let her hug you real good, it could last 5 minutes, which was awkward when I was a teenager.

I think my mom would have liked my dad to have her love languages but she learned to appreciate his and loved him just the same. Even though they never took a class or studied love languages they seemed to fit and were a great example for my sister and I in how a relationship between a man and a woman should be.

So when I hear this song I think of them. At my dads funeral a cousin spoke of how when they were first dating, my mom lived at the top of a hill and in the winter my dads car wouldn’t make it up the hill when it was slick, so he parked and walked her up to her front door. My mom was sicker than my dad in the end, he was taking care of her, still. And if you believe in this sort of thing as I do, I think the cancer struck him so that he could go home first. So that he could walk her up the hill, walk her home…one more time.

And no wonder she thought that “On the day that he was born the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true.” He was her dream, and it did come true, oh and yes his eyes were blue.

Happy Mothers day Mom!!

Have a great week!

 

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My Daughter Likes a Doughnut

 

Sarah worried.

Sarah worried.

So here it comes like it or not Junior High and boys, boys, boys. Not for me, I have three girls but guess where their focus is heading, yes boys. I think I’ve been in denial for a while now but I was straightening Faiths room and found a bunch of notes cleverly folded on her bedroom floor. I mean who would have thought kids today even passed notes anymore what with texting and all. But I guess sitting in class when the teacher wont allow you to have your phone out, it still happens. Some things never change. 

So being a curious guy and a dad I read a couple of them, now you may be thinking that I invaded her privacy and maybe I did, but they were just dumped on the floor like everything else and like I said I’m a dad its my job to keep tabs on what they are doing. I tell my girls I will trust you until you give me a reason not to, then it will be very hard to ever get the trust back. So snooping a little allows me to build the trust in her, I need to know what she’s doing and when its innocent fun then it builds my trust and confidence in her. And these were, innocent I mean, rambling on and on about the day or who is mad at who or what teachers they don’t like, but then I spotted it, the code. 

It took me a while to figure it out and I wished we had thought of this when I was a kid, but the boys they like are code-named as food. Faith likes doughnut, see how that works. I can type it here and not get into trouble if Faith reads this blog post because no one knows who doughnut is. Clever. There is top ramen and mustard too that her fiends like. Mustard? Really, I told her they should use Greek god names like Zeus and Apollo, anything but mustard.

And yes she knows I know, it kind of went like this.

Me: “So who’s doughnut?”

Faith: surprised look, then I can see the wheels spinning while she figures out how I know, it didn’t take long, “Dad did you read my notes?”

Me: “well if I didn’t have to go in and clean your room up I would never find them, so who’s doughnut?”

Faith: dreamy look, “Only my future husband!”

Me: laughing on the inside.

So she’s not mad, which is good, she knows she has nothing to hide and her future husbands secret identify is safe from the world, for now. 

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And now there is no more denial for me, cat is out of the bag, my daughter officially likes boys, and I’m fine with that. I will never be one of those dads that answers the door when her date rings the bell with a shot-gun in my hand trying to frighten the poor guy. I want her to experience everything that comes with growing up. The excitement of that first crush, date and even the first kiss. Proms, going steady and yes even the breakups and the heart aches. I will be there for them every step of the way, through the good times and the bad. I will teach them to love people, trust people, be vulnerable. I think that’s a better approach than going through life guarded and afraid. We grow as much from sad times as good times, maybe more, but you have to be open to it, not resist it. There is an old saying from the Peaceful Warrior book by Dan Millman, “The warriors path is not about invulnerability, it’s about absolute vulnerability.” It took me three family deaths and a divorce and all the pain and healing that comes when you surrender to what is before I fully understood this concept. So today, I’ve torn down the walls of resistance, the walls that when they were necessary guarded my heart but now, are no longer needed. 

Maybe this makes me sound insensitive, that I would let my girls experience pain, rest assured it only goes so far. I would never let anyone harm my girls, even a spider. Let me explain, literally while I was typing this blog post I get a facetime call from Sarah, her and Cassie are watching their two baby sisters today while their mom is at work. They are terrified. A gigantic spider has invaded their home and  is perched on a shelf in the babies room, and they are all really freaked out. So I offer suggestions, “get a broom and knock it down then step on it.” Nope it’s too huge. “Find some spider spray.” Mom doesn’t have any. I really want them to figure this out on their own but when it’s obvious that they aren’t going to I grab the fly swatter (aka spider slayer) and drive over. That picture above is the actual picture of our face time call, how could I resist that terrified, worried face.

I pull into the drive way and the garage door starts to open, they were waiting for me. I stand in the driveway with my fisted hands on my hips, the spider slayer tucked into my back pocket and in my best super hero voice I say, “Take me to this spider and I will quickly dispose of him.” They giggle. So I kill the spider (he was huge, but I showed no fear) and get them calmed down and head out as Sarah starts making everyone lunch. Safe again.

Yes the day will come, as it has for Faith when they too like a doughnut, and another day will come when a new man will come into their lives and steal them away, but, for today, just for today, I got to be the hero again.

Have a great week!!

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I Want to Live Like Larry

Sad news this week a family friend passed away. I got the call in the middle of the day from his wife, she was distraught and in tears and I was shocked. Larry was a friend of my dads at first then a friend of mine as he asked me to come to his house weekly and teach his entire family Tae Kwon Do, that was over 20 years ago, then Larry and his wife shared property with my parents in Arizona and bought my dads share when he died so I would see them when I visited. Everyone loved Larry, he was cut from the same mold as my dad, friendly, giving, handy and always helping someone with his many talents and skills.

I took my two youngest daughters, Sarah and Cassie to the viewing, there were probably 200 – 300 people there, the girls were good for the 45 minutes we spent in line. Unfortunately they are all too familiar with death and are old enough to be respectful at an event like this. The next day I attended the funeral by myself and this is where I decided that I wanted to live like Larry. They say that you can tell the success of a man by the success of his children, two of his daughters spoke at the funeral and this is where I really got to know Larry. Sure I knew the fun, free-spirited helpful guy but hearing his daughters talk and seeing what strength, faith and class they had I knew what a great dad Larry was. They both told funny stories but more importantly they talked about how he taught them how to live, to teaching by example, in always helping others, to letting his kids make their own mistakes and always being there to pick up the pieces or offer solid advice and solutions. Larry loved life and did anything and everything to stay active and involved with his kids and grandkids.

One daughter even had a list of things Larry liked to tell them over and over like “Life is too short” when they were worrying about something trivial, and “Things will always work out if you let them” when they were trying too hard to control. Watching these two beautiful ladies I was touched and reminded of just how important a dads role is. What he is determines who his kids will be. I don’t think enough dads realize this or take it as seriously as they should.

So I left the funeral inspired, inspired by Larry, inspired by his kids and inspired to write this post. I think I do a pretty good job of talking to my girls and teaching them how to live but I thought I was lacking in one area. If you read my posts you are familiar with the inner critic, that little voice in our heads that loves to criticize what we do. I have a pretty good handle on mine but once in a while it gets going. Hearing all the stories of how Larry was always helping someone, always had something someone needed and gave it away freely. My dad was the same way, like I said cut from the same mold. But what about me, not so much I thought, by now I was home and had changed clothes and was loading the back of my truck with some yard tools. My inner critic was going strong telling me I could never be like Larry or my dad. But, all of a sudden I stopped and realized what I was doing. I was loading up my truck to go clean up my girls Grandmas yard, she had given away a pool and a deck and it left a mess that needed cleaned up and grass replaced. When I realized this I smiled, not because I was pleased with myself or think I’m a great guy but because I’m grateful for examples like Larry and my dad. I’m grateful and honored to in a small way carry on what these great men started and lived.

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So thanks Larry for leaving the world a better place by the life you lived and the kids you raised. And you were right, life is too short, especially for you a young 57 when God called you home. You will be missed by everyone who knew you and if you could do me one more favor, give my Dad, Mom and Sister a hug from me please. Tell them I’ll see them soon.

Have a great week! 

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Whats up with today’s Kids?

537034_505518676151327_1517364229_nI took my two daughters out to eat the other night, there was a young mom with two cute little ones at the table next to ours   She was about 20 years old with a 2-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son. I’m guessing of course because I didn’t ask her.  The woman had her nose in her phone the whole time they were there. The kids were obviously used to entertaining themselves. The place was packed and when the waitress tried to take their order it took 10 minutes because wonder mom hadn’t looked at the menu or bothered to ask what her kids wanted to eat. The cute little waitress smiled politely and waited patiently. Me less so. I couldn’t help but wonder what was so damn important on that phone. Was she going to miss every precious moment with these kids? They go by so fast. What the heck is wrong with young people today I thought? But this isn’t a post to gripe about young people, I feel this young mom was the exception rather than the rule, on the contrary this post is to praise our younger generation.  So keep reading.

My oldest daughter Faith is running track her first year in junior high. I’ve been to two meets so far and was impressed both times. Let me back up a little bit.  I remember junior high quite well, my friends and I spent all of our time tossing insults around trying to look cool mostly to impress girls. So sitting with these kids was going to be interesting I thought, these meets are long so I thought it would be entertaining to watch their behavior, but what I see is totally different than what I expected. I see kindness, support, camaraderie as they cheer for their teammates throughout the event. And I’m impressed. Today one of the girls falls in the 100 meter and badly scrapes her knees.  I see Faith run to see how she is as her friends get her up to the rest room to get cleaned up. Then Faith comes back with another team-mate and they grab the medical kit and head after the rest. The medical kit is metal, bulky and heavy and Faith’s smaller teammate struggles. I see Faith reach down and take it from her as they both run across the field to their injured friend and my heart swells with pride. Not at all like I remember Junior High. Impressive.

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Faith is fast enough to get placed in the first heat of her 100 meter which is good and bad, good because her coach has confidence in her. Bad because she is racing against the fastest girls. She doesn’t win her race and later when she says she didn’t do very well I look at her and smile and say, “and still, I have never been more proud of you”. She gives me a funny look because she doesn’t understand but I do. Our future is in good hands with these kids. My confidence is restored.

And did I mention these meets are long? Her first event was at 3:30, her second and last was at 6:30. In between watching the kids and the cutest moms I typed 90% of this blog post on my phone. I sure hope someone wasn’t looking at me, wondering why I was missing my kid race and what was so damn important on my phone. ;-)

Have a great week!

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What Might Have Been

I’ve been listening to my iPod more lately and I’m surprised at how many songs stir up old forgotten emotions or maybe I’m getting in touch with my feminine side. I like the oldies, being an oldie myself. I try to listen to the new stuff my kids like and some of it I do like but when I’m by myself like today its the oldies, old rock and roll and old country. The classics. Nostalgia.

So today I’m slicing up apples to load into the dehydrator for a healthy snack for my girls and I have on the old county playlist and one of my favorites comes on, “What Might Have Been” by Little Texas, you tube link below. This song has always gotten to me, maybe more so because of my recent divorce and dating since then; I guess you always wonder what might have been? As I listen to the lyrics I believe the song writer was thinking about one special lady that slipped away. But I find myself thinking about all the special ladies in my life and how I hope each one has gone on to find a happy life. I think people come into your life for a reason, that reason isn’t always to stay together forever but I do believe it’s for comfort or a lesson, something for your benefit, if only you look closely enough.

It’s easy to let the inner critic jump in and start with the “If only’s”. If only I had been more patient, less angry, better looking, the list goes on and on, If only… I could have held on to her.

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The lyrics indicate that they may have been the best days ever, but then quickly acknowledge that you can’t go back again. In this day and age of social media, old lovers getting acquainted again like never before, depending on your situation, sometimes its best to realize that the past is the past and to let it go. If you dwell on the past, you may rob your future. So, for me, I will stay here in the present, slicing apples and letting the song make me feel melancholy and saying a silent prayer for all the wonderful ladies that have come and gone in my life. And I’ll let that one little part of me be hopeful for the future, now that I’m older and have learned patience, understanding, maybe, just maybe, the best days are still yet to come. 

Grateful for the past hopeful for the future. Now back to my apples :-)

Have a great Week!!

 

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How to Be Unstoppably Happy

I  got the article below in my email the other day from Jafree Ozwald, and I haven’t stopped smiling since. There are links below to some of his products and free emails like this one:

People spend lifetimes striving to reach their goals and dreams which they believe will one day make them happy.  Yet many find themselves addicted to the pursuit of their vision, and the fantasy of what may come, instead of actually enjoying being happy in their lives today.  The truth is there are as many distractions inside us as there are on the outside of us, and they are ALL excuses that say it’s not possible to be happy right now.  The secret we’ve discovered to becoming unstoppably happy is simply to see how happiness is not far away at all.  It is always a choice readily available to you in each new moment.

When the understanding sinks in that your happiness is not based upon anything in the outer world, you start the journey towards being truly liberated from any sadness, negativity or pain.  You can choose to embody the energy of joy and appreciation in this moment because it is always a choice!  Whatever you decide to feel about the outer world impacts how you feel about yourself.  You are always interpreting situations and events in your life, so why not choose the response that opens those doors towards feelings of expansion, serenity, appreciation and continuous jubilation!  Happiness is a FEELING that is always available, and can be accessed instantly whenever you remember that joy is possible in each moment.  It’s that simple!  Make the decision right now that NOTHING, yes absolutely nothing, can stop you from choosing joy, appreciation and relaxation in each moment.  There is nothing more powerful than this choice, and when you make it you’ll discover a deeper joy hidden inside you that is emanating from the very core of your being.

“Act happy, feel happy, be happy, without a reason in the world. Then you can love, and do what you will.”  ~ Dan Millman

How this email came into existence was that one morning Margot woke up very early and proclaimed that she was going to be unstoppably happy.  She decided that she was going to be happy NO MATTER WHAT came her way today!  This proclamation started acting like a powerful energetic shield that protected her, and freed her from any negative thinking.  It was evident that she felt liberated and was operating from a lighter place of gentleness and love.  When negative comments were directed her way, she’d just deflect them with her “Unstoppable Happiness Shield”.  Being vigilant of her thoughts, she did not let anyone drag her into the land of emotional negativity.  This shield allowed her to feel safe and protected, so that she could relax deeper into the core of her being where the source of positive thinking abides. 

We want you to know that you can do this same experiment with your life.  Your state of mind is so precious and sacred.  Dedicate your life to keeping it healthy, wealthy,  free and loving.  It’s good to know you can protect your mind from any negativity that comes your way.  It can come in the form of other people’s bad moods, intensity, anxiety or negative words.  You can sit safely behind your invincible happiness shield that allows yourself to relax deeper inside and experience those healing feelings that naturally emerge from your Divine essence.  So, whenever you can, realize that your happiness is NOT at the mercy of your environment or other people’s states of mind.  Know that you always have the power to create any state of mind you desire!  By simply practicing the choice to be an unstoppable source of happiness you will experience just how powerful your thoughts really are! 

“Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response.”  ~ Mildred Barthel.

Creating a permanent state of happiness is possible, yet can only happen when you FEEL safe, protected and at peace behind your unstoppable happiness shield.  When you are freed from defending and protecting yourself in anyway, you instantly create a sense of spaciousness inside that leads into the greatest golden secret to becoming happy forever!  This is spacious feeling cultivates a heightened state of awareness of your thoughts.  The more awareness you have, the more you are conscious of each thought passing by, and the easier it is to step on the train which is always arriving in the land of appreciation and the town of “Bliss-ville”!

Greater awareness happens by slowing down in your life, so you can actually witness the thoughts that pass through your mind at lightening speeds.  It is this wandering mind that is always taking you down the paths of despair and self pity.  When you see that you are simply the watcher behind it, you are free from any thought patterns that float by.  Yet you must cultivate a mind that will support you in slowing down and clearly seeing the thoughts that create your emotional states.  This happens through the practice of being centered.  This means you develop the ability to be quiet, calm, and serene….listening to the thoughts without buying into them.  This is the only way to penetrate the deep seated chaos of the mind and remain unshaken by any thoughts that arise.  The more you look inside towards who you truly are, the easier it becomes to discover the eternal joy that is your true nature. 

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” ~ Fredrick Koeing

The feelings of joy and love can be cultivated to arise more frequently by focusing on what you are currently thankful for in your life right now.  In each moment, there is a plethora of things to be grateful for.  From 10,000 miles up in outer space you can easily see how we are all blessed to live on this awesome beautiful planet.  Yet, there are always two sides to every coin.  In any given situation you are given the choice to feel blessed, and you can also focus on what is not working and see things in a negative light.  In each moment there always exists at least two choices.  A person may miss their bus to work one day and can either focus on feeling late for work, or refocus on the beauty of the morning and how they get to enjoy the sunshine for a few more minutes until the next bus comes by.  It simply boils down to when life hands you lemons, do you make lemonade or just suck on the lemon with sour puckering lips?  Your reality is always a conscious choice!

“A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.” ~ Hugh Downs

It’s time to stop waiting for happiness to find you and choose to find the roses hidden in your inner garden.  At your very core is an eternal rose bush blooming, radiating its beauty and fragrance for all to enjoy.  Being in touch with the core of your being is pure happiness, and it naturally arises from within when you are relaxed.  Nothing has to happen for happiness to continue to flow.  This happiness IS HERE NOW because this divine creation inside of you is always rejoicing in it’s divine aliveness whether you are aware of it or not. 

So when you wake up tomorrow morning, start your day by proclaiming to the world that you are choosing to be unstoppably happy NO MATTER WHAT happens!  This will push you deeper inside to find your true natural bliss-filled state at the core.  Yet, after you proclaim this choice, gently remind yourself as you go through the day that you are committed to being unstoppably happy.   Practice vigilance with your thoughts, and you will naturally see how easy it is to choose happiness over any negative thinking.  It is always up to you.  You have the power inside you to make those decisions that will make today the happiest day of your life!!

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